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April 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Maybe This Is the Reason Why His Wife Drowned

from the April, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Guy Cooper, the writer of this first-person story about the snorkeling death of his wife, Nancy Peacock, cites the build-up of exhaled carbon dioxide in her full-face mask as the probable villain. However, some recent snorkeling deaths have involved conventional masks and snorkels, so, despite full-face masks now being banned from use in Hawaii, where Peacock died, could the blame be misplaced? Is there a different culprit?

In the "Why Divers Die" article in the February issue, we wrote about immersion pulmonary edema (IPE), now thought to be the cause of many mysterious drownings of scuba divers who still had plenty of air in their tanks. IPE can be caused by hyperhydration. It happens when fluid leaks from the bloodstream into air sacs in the lungs, possibly leading to heart failure or other cardiac problems. Doug Ebersole, a cardiologist in Lakeland, FL, and a technical dive instructor who consults for Divers Alert Network and the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC), has now issued guidance to those groups' members on recognizing and reacting to the symptoms of IPE....

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