Employee #1 was scuba diving with a buddy diver during a winter to locate anchors that hold ice booms in a river. Employee #1 and the buddy diver were using a crane barge and holding on to the crane cable while at the surface and to guide themselves up and down. The water temperature was about 40 degrees and the current was approximately two knots. Both divers were wearing unisuits (dry suits).
They had made three short dives before lunch. After an hour and a half, they re-entered the water. They could not locate the anchor on the first dive. Employee #1 exited the water by ladder to the barge. He walked across the barge, spoke briefly with the dive supervisor, and then re-entered the water. At the surface, Employee #1 mentioned to the buddy diver that it was hard to hold on in the current. The buddy diver called for the chase boat. The chase boat came up to Employee #1 and asked if he was OK. Employee #1 said he needed help getting out of the water.
The chase boat went to get assistance but, as it was returning to him, Employee #1 let go of the cable and sank to the bottom (about 30 feet). Rescue divers located him about 90 minutes later. After four hours of life saving attempts, he was pronounced dead
Republished from Marine Construction Magazine Issue II, 2022