Crews searching for missing scuba diver in Commencement Bay

TACOMA -- Authorities continued searching for a diver reported "in distress" Wednesday in Commencement Bay.

The Tacoma Police Department's public information officer, Loretta Cool, said  the diver is a 50-year-old woman who came up from Portland to do her first open water dive after getting her certificate.

She was among a group of eight who went into the water, Cool said. Someone on shore saw a diver in distress and called dispatch. When police arrived, the other seven divers got out of the water and said they were all OK. But they then started a head count and realized they were missing one person.

There are three boats in the water, the Metro Dive Team and Tacoma Fire & Rescue all looking for the woman, Cool said.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy also joined the search, dispatching boats and a helicopter.

Dive teams began their search around 2 p.m. in the water near the 3400 block of Ruston Way.

Stay with Q13 FOX for updates on this developing story.