Questions linger about Chesapeake officer’s dive gear after death

Posted: 03/16/2012 in all marine news

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.

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