Diver drowns during water tank maintenance

Dive teams recovered the body of the worker who had become trapped in the water tank
October 13, 2010 12:11:15 PM PDT
A dive team went in to a water tank in Richmond to try to save a diver who had become trapped at the bottom of the tank. According to the Richmond Police Department, the Ron Perrin Water Technologies Company, out of Fort Worth, was hired to do routine maintenance on water storage containers which is done about once every two years. The company removes silt from the bottom of the containers using divers.

The tank is 40 feet tall and holds 500,000 gallons of water. It was approximately three quarters of the way full at the time of the incident.

The first diver entered the tank at 9:15am and reached the bottom of the tank at approximately 9:18am. Approximately 10 minutes later the second diver, who was standing on top of the tank monitoring the first diver, noticed that the first diver's tether line was loose. The second diver went into the water and discovered the first diver at the bottom of the tank unconscious and unresponsive.

The first diver had removed his mask for an unknown reason. As the second diver was trying to assess the situation, he started having regulator problems and had to return to the surface.

The Richmond Fire Department dive team responded and recovered the first diver from the bottom of the tank at approximately 10:50am. He was deceased. The 28-year-old victim is from Arlington. His identity is not being released until all notifications have been made.

Investigation is ongoing and at this time it is being called an accidental drowning.


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