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Volunteer captain dies while participating in advanced dive training at quarry - Ohio.

Tarley JL; Bowyer M
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE F2012-25, 2013 Aug; :1-9
On August 10, 2012, a 46-year-old male volunteer captain drowned while attempting to complete an advanced underwater diving course at a county park (formally a stone quarry). The course was to consist of two dives and focus on underwater navigation using a compass. The victim experienced buoyancy problems during both dives. The victim started with a reported 28 pounds of weight in his buoyancy control vest. He borrowed two 2-pound weights from his partner on the first dive. While on shore between dives, the instructor gave him what is believed to be two more 2-pound weights, making a total of 36 pounds. During the next dive, the victim and his partner attempted to surface because the victim was low on air. When the victim surfaced, the victim's buoyancy compensator was not inflated, he was out of air, and he appeared to be in a panic. His partner got him under control and began to drag him to the dock. The victim became unconscious, and due to being overweighted, his partner was not able to hold onto the victim and the victim sank to the bottom at a depth of 60 feet where he drowned. Contributing Factors: 1. Insufficient dive training/experience. 2. Over-weighted dive belt.3. Lack of medical screening. Recommendations: Fire departments should consider performing a preplacement and an annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluation for all fire fighters to ensure they are physically capable of performing the essential job tasks of fire fighting and technical rescues such as SCUBA diving. 2. The authority having jurisdiction should ensure that members who are assigned to public safety dive teams receive sufficient training.
Region-5; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Medical-screening; Physical-stress; Physical-fitness; Training; Diving; Diving-equipment; Scuba-divers; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2012-25; M102013
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division