Dirty diving: Sudden death of a SCUBA diver in a water treatment facility

G. R. Nichols, G. J. Davis, A. C. Parola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report a case of a sudden death in a SCUBA diver working at a water treatment facility. The victim, an employee of the facility with a specialty in electronics, was a sport diver not qualified in commercial diving. While attempting to clean sludge from a blocked drain 25 ft under water, the diver was suddenly pinned against the drain valve when the sludge plug was broken up. We review the mechanics of the incident and the actual cause of death, asphyxia, as opposed to drowning. We believe this to be the first reported case of traumatic (pressure) asphyxia in a SCUBA diver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-75
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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