Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Diver Error to Blame for Experienced Technical Dive Instructor's Death

Last week it was reported that failure to use a mooring line was a contributing factor in the death of a scuba diver who drowned at a popular dive site near Nanaimo in November 2007.

[C]oroner Kim Bailey found that Daniel Harrington, 32, died on Nov. 24, 2007 of accidental drowning due to a scuba diving incident.

Harrington was exploring the HMCS Cape Breton off Snake Island with a friend when they entered a small room and stirred up a cloud of silt, reducing visibility to zero.

One diver was able to find her way out of the room, but could not find Harrington and surfaced to get help from other divers.

Immediate searches were unsuccessful and Harrington’s body was not recovered by RCMP dive teams until Dec. 6, 2007.

The body was found in the room where Harrington and his friend had become separated.

Bailey’s investigation found Harrington was an experienced, certified technical driver/instructor (sic) who had been to the wreck many times in the past. His equipment was found to be functioning normally at the time of the incident and his tanks were found empty of air.

But part of his equipment, a 76-metre spool of line intended to be tied to the outside of a wreck, was not used.

Bailey classified the death as accidental and made no recommendations.

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While the sport of diving enjoys relatively remarkable safety statistics, accidents can and do happen to even the most experienced among us.

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