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Jake Johnston

NAUI Instructor, Jake Johnston of Shelton, WA lost his fight with Cancer earlier this month. He was certified as a SCUBA diver in 2005 as the first step in becoming a commercial harvest diver as a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe. Jake completed training in lightweight Surface-Supplied Air (S-SA). He was the only Native American in Washington State to become a NAUI Instructor. His motivation was to teach and certify Native Americans from thirteen different tribes in Washington State how to Safely Harvest Geoduck clams utilizing S-SA diving equipment and techniques. He became Operations Manager and Dive Supervisor for the Marine Services Division of the Department of Natural Resources at the Nisqually Tribe of Indians. Marine Services established a specialized commercial diving training course for harvest divers with Jake’s help. Marine Services also specialized in Puget Sound environmental restoration including; wooden creosote piling removal derelict boat removal, derelict fishing net location and removal, debris removal (tires, structures, crab pots and other hazardous materials).  After training SCUBA divers in underwater survey operations, he also oversaw pre and post-harvest biomass surveys. Hundreds of Native Americans from thirteen different Washington State tribes were trained by Jake. He finished this journey with courage and dignity, the same way he lived it. His legacy lives on in his family and all those divers he taught.

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