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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170032098 - Diver Trainee Drowns In Rough Water While Scuba Diving

Accident: 170032098 -- Report ID: 0111100 -- Event Date: 12/19/1992
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10979978301/07/19937389Kevin G. Whitney
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on December 19, 1992, Employee #1, although virtually untrained, was performing a commercial dive for sea urchins in approximately 40 ft of water in the open sea. Water conditions that day were rough, and visibility was poor. While wearing a full complement of SCUBA diving equipment, including a dry suit, Employee #1 apparently became separated from his diving partner/trainer and surfaced. Employee #1 called to the boat operator, then slipped beneath the water before the operator could reach him. Employee #1 was recovered about 2 1/2 hours later and had apparently drowned after suffering an embolism. No problems existed with the equipment; ample air was in his tank. Injuries documented were consistent with the injuries sustained by someone who holds his/her breath while ascending to the water's surface. Lack of adequate training played a major role in this fatality.
Keywords: embolism, scuba, work rules, drown, untrained, diver, commercial diving, poor visibility, water
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 109799783 Fatality Other Occupation not reported

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