A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office diver uses hand signals to ask an eyewitness to help him during the search for a man who fell off a boat north of the Mukilteo ferry terminal Wednesday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office diver uses hand signals to ask an eyewitness to help him during the search for a man who fell off a boat north of the Mukilteo ferry terminal Wednesday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Divers search for man who went under near Mukilteo ferry dock

He was last seen swimming about 80 yards from shore after his inflatable boat capsized.

MUKILTEO — A five-member dive team was searching Wednesday for a man who reportedly went underwater north of the Mukilteo ferry terminal.

The man was in a small inflatable boat that capsized around 3 p.m., Everett police officer Aaron Snell said. Witnesses reported he tried to swim to shore before they lost sight of him. He was about 80 yards off shore, officials said.

Local police and fire agencies were aided by the U.S. Coast Guard, which provided a helicopter and rescue boat.

There was still no sight of the man by 5:30 p.m. as the sky turned dark. The black-and-yellow boat had been pulled to shore, along Edgewater Beach Park.

Everett rescue personnel peer over the sides of a boat in search of a man who was last seen swimming to shore after his inflatable boat capsized off the beach north of the Mukilteo ferry Wednesday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Everett rescue personnel peer over the sides of a boat in search of a man who was last seen swimming to shore after his inflatable boat capsized off the beach north of the Mukilteo ferry Wednesday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

A rescue team included four members of the Everett Police Department dive team and a Snohomish County deputy sheriff. At least three search-and-rescue boats and the helicopter were helping in the search.

The man was reported to have been alone in the boat. He did not appear to have been wearing a life jacket, police said. No information about the man’s age and hometown had been released by 5:45 p.m.

The sheriff’s office offers several water safety tips for lakes and coastal waters where temperatures range from 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the human body can cool down 25 times faster in cold water than air, hypothermia is a real danger.

Among the suggestions are to make oneself visible to boaters, to wear a life jacket, and to bring a whistle and cellphone in a waterproof bag.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com

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