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August 2003 Vol. 29, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Underwater Suicide

from the August, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In Croatia last year, a scuba diver was found dead at the bottom of a cave at 180 feet, with a knife protruding from his chest.

After his body was retrieved, an autopsy found that the death was due to both drowning and the penetrating knife wound.

Officials believed it at first was a homicide and arrested two suspects. However, the "blood stains" on their clothing proved to be paint, and they passed a polygraph test. A forensic analysis of the profile of the diver's last dive stored in his computer and other findings led officials to conclude that the diver committed suicide, most likely because he ran out of air and wanted to avoid the agony of drowning.

However, drowning, once underway, is considered a peaceful way to pass. Not so for a knife wound.

Nadan M. Petri, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Department, Naval Medical Institute, P.P. 196 (HRM), 21000 Split, Croatia, Doc Petri confirmed the story by e-mail to Undercurrent.

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