Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
April 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Lessons from My Wife’s Snorkeling Death

and why I suspect her mask as the culprit

from the April, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Subscriber Content Preview
Only active subscribers can view the whole article here

My wife died in September 2016 while snorkeling Pohoiki Bay on the Big Island. A devastating shock. She planned a week's stay. Lasted less than 24 hours.

I've since learned some things about her death and snorkeling. Some painful. Some I hope informative and lifesaving. If only I knew then ...

She was an experienced snorkeler in Hawaiian waters and a strong swimmer. She was found floating face up with her water-filled full-face mask pulled up, exposing her mouth and nose. She'd been in the water less than an hour. No struggle was witnessed. The fact that the mask was pulled partly off suggests something went wrong, suddenly, and she tried to get the thing off. Too late.

The coroner's report is not much help. Part of the autopsy findings are consistent with drowning. But it also suggests a contributing history of ischemic heart disease (clogged arteries). Really? She had no such history. The coroner's own examination does not support that conclusion. Her own doctor thought that conclusion bunk.

Are epidemiologists and ocean safety officials jumping to the wrong causation conclusions about ocean fatalities in Hawaii, relying too heavily on possibly misleading coroners' reports? No one inquired about my wife. The coroner knew nothing of the circumstances, the mask, her experience, fitness or medical history. Might there have been other contributing factors? What is the purpose of a coroner's report if not to uncover facts that might help prevent future deaths?...

Subscribers: Read the full article here

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2021 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.