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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14526941 - Scuba Diver Lost Air Tank; Later Died From Injuries

Accident: 14526941 -- Report ID: 0418800 -- Event Date: 04/27/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
116693305/10/19854499Cobb Coin Co., Inc.
AT ABOUT 1:30 PM ON APRIL 27, 1985, EMPLOYEE #1, A SCUBA DIVER, WAS WORKING IN 10 TO 13 FEET OF WATER ABOUT 1500 FEET OFFSHORE AND EAST OF ST. JOHNS ISLAND'S NORTH END, NEAR VERO BEACH, FLORIDA. A TREASURE HUNTING SALVAGE BOAT, WITH 5 CREW MEMBERS, WAS DIGGING HOLES BY DIVERTING PROPELLER BACK-WASH TOWARDS THE OCEAN BOTTOM, USING A 90 DEGREE ANGLED TUBE. FOUR ANCHORS, TWO AT THE STERN AND TWO AT THE BOW, KEPT THE BOAT STATIONARY WHILE "BLOWING" HOLES. MOVEMENT OF THE BOAT WITHIN A GIVEN SALVAGE AREA WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY WINCHING SPECIFIC ANCHOR LINES, SO THE ANCHORS HAD TO BE RELOCATED AT FREQUENT INTERVALS. EMPLOYEE #1 WAS MOVING AN ANCHOR WEIGHING ABOUT 15 POUNDS WHEN, FOR UNKNOWN REASONS, HIS AIR TANK FLOATED TO THE SURFACE. A SHORT TIME LATER, THE EMPLOYEE SURFACED IN A STATE OF PANIC. BEFORE 2 OTHER CREW MEMBERS COULD REACH HIM HE SANK TO THE BOTTOM. THE 2 CREW MEMBERS BROUGHT HIM UP FROM THE BOTTOM AND PUT HIM ON THE BOAT. HE WAS NOT BREATHING AND HAD NO PULSE. THEY MANAGED TO REVIVE HIM, AND HE WAS ABLE TO BREATHE ON HIS OWN FOR ABOUT A HALF HOUR. WHEN THEY WERE ABOUT 10 MINUTES FROM PORT HE AGAIN STOPPED BREATHING, AND WAS AGAIN REVIVED. HE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL BY AMBULANCE, WHERE HE DIED ON MAY 3RD.
Keywords: respiratory, cylinder, scuba, compressed air, diving, diver
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1166933 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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