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January 1999 Vol. 14, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Two Odd Deaths in 1998

from the January, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Last summer, two divers died in odd deaths worth reporting.

David Schulkins, a Florida dive boat captain and experienced free diver, went to his local YMCA to practice holding his breath. Wearing fins, mask, a weight belt, and a computer, he told lifeguards not to worry if he stayed motionless under water for long periods. Lifeguards saw him repeatedly submerge for two or three minutes at a time while keeping an eye on 30 children who were in the pool and a dive class.

Then, one noticed Schulkins had been down exceptionally long. The lifeguards rushed to pull him up, but could not resuscitate him. His computer registered a 25 minute bottom time at 13 feet. He probably suffered from shallow-water blackout, passed out, and pulled water into his lungs.

In August, after diving in the Gulf off Texas, three divers headed back to port in calm seas, with one diver lying on the stern of the boat. About two miles south of Freeport, Texas, one diver turned around and realized the other diver was gone. He was never found.

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