Archive for 03/16/2012

Veronica Gonzalez –

Weeks after an investigation into Police Officer Timothy Schock’s drowning was completed, it’s still a mystery how a simple system designed to be used in diving emergencies failed to work.

Schock’s weight-release system, which allows a diver to quickly drop weights that are helping to keep him underwater, inexplicably failed Dec. 20 during routine dive training at Oak Grove Lake Park in Greenbrier.

More puzzling was that the same equipment used by the rest of the 12-member police dive team also failed to release properly when tested.

“I’m still perplexed about the whole thing, because it’s not logical to me,” Police Chief Kelvin Wright said last week in response to a Freedom of Information inquiry.

The Virginian-Pilot also learned that Schock was storing weights in the correct pockets on his diving vest; and he was wearing a dry suit, which neither he nor his partner tried to inflate when his weight-release system failed.

The weight system is fairly simple. Weights are stored in pockets on a buoyancy compensator – an inflatable vest that helps divers ascend or descend.

When a diver pulls a red handle on the vest attached to a thin, plastic cord threaded through nylon loops, the bottom of the weight pockets open, dropping the weights.

Full story…

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Danny Valentine –

A 40-year-old Indian Rocks Beach man who died while riding a personal watercraft Saturday night crashed and fell into the water after the driver hit a slow sign, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman said. Victor Vazquez was a passenger on a watercraft piloted by Robert W. Turnbull, 34, also of Indian Rocks Beach.

At about 8:30 p.m., Turnbull struck a slow sign in the Intracoastal Waterway just north of the Belleair Causeway, according to spokesman Gary Morse. Both were thrown from the craft.

Turnbull found Vazquez unconscious after the crash and headed to shore. Efforts to revive him failed.

Turnbull sustained minor injuries. Both men were wearing life jackets.

The two were riding on a water scooter well after the sun had gone down — which is prohibited by state law.

Florida law prohibits piloting a personal watercraft from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise.

Full story…

The Jakarta Post –

Eight people are feared dead after a fishing boat sank Thursday off New Zealand’s coast.

So far, crews have rescued one survivor and found one body. But poor sea conditions and a long delay before authorities were alerted to the accident has police describing the situation as bleak.

Police say the boat “Easy Rider” was carrying three crew members and six passengers when it capsized near remote Stewart Island.

They say one survivor was found about 18 hours later in the frigid sea, clinging to a barrel.

The survivor told police he was on deck just after midnight when the boat was hit by a rogue wave, causing it to capsize almost immediately.

He managed to cling to the overturned boat’s hull for about two hours before it sank. Policy said Friday they had retrieved the body of a 30-year-old man near where the boat sank and that several vessels and helicopters are continuing to search the area.

It took some 14 hours before authorities knew the boat was missing.

The boat was supposed to meet with a helicopter Thursday afternoon, and when it didn’t show up, the helicopter pilot was the first person to raise the alarm.