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June 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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$25 Million Lawsuit on Rebreather Death

from the June, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Wes Skiles, with more than 7,000 dives, was a world-renowned underwater photographer known for his beautiful photographs of cave systems. He died in 2010 at age 53, during an ascent from an easy open-water dive, after shooting goliath grouper for National Geographic off Florida's Boynton Beach. He was using a Dive Rite O2ptima FXclosed-circuit rebreather (CCR), which he had borrowed.

His death became the subject of a $25 million lawsuit against the rebreather manufacturer, with Dustin Herman the attorney for plaintiff Terri Skiles, Wes Skiles' widow, claiming Dive Rite had produced the rebreather Skiles was using without proper testing. He stated in his opening statement, "This is about failing to do safety testing on a piece of life safety equipment."...

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