Update on La Crescenta fatality

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Posted by MHK on September 25, 2000 at 08:44:49:

I spent the better part of this weekend with Mark Lonsdale ( L.A. Sherriff's search and rescue team leader ) and he was the person who recovered the body. The following are the facts reported to me by him, based on his body recovery and interview with the brother.

The victim was a member of the U.S. Air Force rescue team ( arguably speaking high on the experience food chain ) and he entered the mine solo. It was previously reported that he and his brother entered the mine together and then got seperated. Mark tells me that the brother was very clear in that they did NOT go in as a team.. The brother stayed outside to work the tether line..

The body was found with 2700 psi still in the tank and Mark's and the Air Force investigators believe at this point, the victim entered a part of the shaft ( about 185' into the shaft )where the shaft comes up to about waist high depth. The belief is that he stood up and was only waist deep in the water and more than likely took his reg out of his mouth. They further believe that the air in that portion of the shaft was toxic and he passed out face down in the water and drowned.

Mark and Jarrod Jablonski will be going back into the mine today for two primary reasons:

1) They will be working with the U.S. Air Force and will be taking air sample from the area in the mine where he died;

2) As it turns out the victim was carrying a video camera, so they will recover the camera.

In my discussions with the sherriff dept ( ie; Mark Lonsdale ) he was very clear in that if a buddy was nearby he could have replaced the reg, turned the body face up and it is likely he would have lived.

Since we have been having these *discussions* lately I thought it would be important to note that the victim was a VERY experienced diver, he was solo and he is now dead in less than 4' of water..

You guys can keep arguing with me all you want, but the fact of the matter is that complacency kills. And these *experienced* diver's keep dieing while diving solo, or buddyless or whatever you want to call it, and the funerals keep adding up!!!!!!!!!!


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