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Las Vegas Boy Scout dies in Utah scuba diving accident

Updated Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | 7:13 p.m.

Bear Lake

A 12-year-old Las Vegas Boy Scout drowned Wednesday in Utah as a result of complications while scuba diving.

The drowning occurred at the Bear Lake Aquatics Base in northern Utah near the Idaho state line.

"Today is an extremely difficult day for our entire scouting family," Ryan Moon, field services director for the Las Vegas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.

Bear Lake State Park Manager Richard Droesbeke said the boy was with two other Scouts and a diving instructor when the accident happened. The boy’s father was also at the camp but was not on the diving excursion, he said.

Vic Rowberry of the Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council said the Las Vegas boy was in about 15 feet of water when he disappeared on Wednesday. He was found after a 30-minute search.

Troop leaders performed CPR on the boy until paramedics arrived. The boy was later pronounced dead at a Logan, Utah, hospital. Rowberry said scouts get a training class and must be experienced swimmers before being allowed to dive.

The boy’s name wasn't released. Moon said the organization is working to provide support for the boy's family.

"We are also working with the Great Salt Lake Council to assist the campers and camp staff who were present at the time of the accident with their needs," Moon said in the statement.

Moon said the boy was on a Boy Scout summer camp outing at the time of the accident. Those trips usually last a week, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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  1. I will Pray for this Family.

  2. First and foremost, I echo the sentiments of casinokid above. This is a tragedy.

    A second issue is that this is the second fatal accident involving Nevada teens and scuba diving in the past 3 months. Two boys from Carson City died off the coast in Monterey this past April in 60 feet of water on a high school trip with their Oceanography class. It was ruled an accident by the coroner in Monterey.

    I am a scuba diver and I wonder how this can happen. The equipment available today is superb. Safety is emphasized in training and practice, but the bottom line is that scuba is about heading into a hostile environment (water) with just a hose and tank. This is just contrary to every instinct we have as humans and it requires some discipline. The line between a safe dive and panic is very fine indeed, when stuff starts going wrong. Training is a pool is not the same as diving in real life conditions.

    Maybe it is time we take a good hard look at teens and scuba diving in terms of training, supervision and the conditions they under which they are allowed to dive.

    I am not a big fan of knee-jerk reactions that seem to come forward every time there is an accident anywhere, involving any activity, but it is so very hard to watch as teens, with everything to live for and everything in front of them perish in an activity I love and enjoy tremendously.

  3. Decompression sickness or the bends. Diving tanks are filled with compressed air (which is mostly nitrogen and to a lesser extent oxygen). Nitrogen while absorbed into body tissue is not utilized and builds up. The pressure increase with depth.

    An analogy is a a bottle of soda. You can't see the bubbles and when you open it up, it overflow. There is a simiilar effect when a diver surfaces and nitrogen bubbles over. This is why dive times and depth are correlated. Divers surface slowly and make safety stops.

  4. @rphamblin:

    A very stupid and uninformed comment.

  5. I just became a "trusted" commenter, however it seems my previous posts are not "trusted" and therefore not visible :(

    I did write about the bends and lung burst issues if someone is interested.

    Again, as a diver I must give my condolences to the family.