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March 2009    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 24, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Unusual Hazard for Young Divers

from the March, 2009 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

An inquest in England into the death of a 14-year-old British diver found that while waiting on the surface to be picked up, he was dragged underwater by the weight of his empty tank.

After a dive with his father to collect scallops off Berry Head in Devon, England, last August, Louis Price was treading water while his mother and an uncle tried to restart the engine of their inflatable boat. Prices dive lasted 20 minutes; his 30-cu-ft. tank would have given him 22 minutes dive time. When the air ran out, Price, a trained diver since age 12, lost the buoyancy it gave him, so the weight of his gear dragged him under. His father had a bigger tank, which gave him potentially twice as long underwater. Despite an extensive search, Prices body was not found until 19 days after he disappeared, in almost exactly the same spot where he had vanished.

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