Tuesday, December 09, 2008

14-year-old Scuba Diver Dies, Dragged Down by Weight of Empty Tanks

A tragic story out of the United Kingdom.

A 14-year-old boy died while scuba-diving with his father because he ran out of air while waiting to be picked up.

Louis Price was treading water while his mother and an uncle tried to restart the engine of their rigid inflatable boat, which had air in the fuel line.

An inquest in Torquay heard that Louis, an experienced diver, had been dragged down by the weight of his empty tanks after running out of air.

He had been diving for scallops in August with his father, Stephen, off Berry Head, Brixham, Devon, where the family were on holiday.

A police diving expert said that the boy’s nine-litre air tank would have given him only around 22 minutes beneath the surface and his dive had lasted about 20 minutes.

The air also gave him buoyancy, so when it ran out the weight of his diving gear would have dragged him under. His father had a bigger tank, which gave him potentially twice as long under water.

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John K. said...

This is a tragic story. Even after reading the main article, I don't quite understand how this could happen. It kind of sounds like a lack of training or familiarity for the poor kid. Was he properly certified? What about his BCD? Could he have dropped his weights or the tanks? Very tragic.

Andi said...

Yes, I don't understand how that could happen either. Dump the tank, manually inflate the BCD?