July 14, 2011

Death by water times three

Three terrible deaths by water.

David Potts was vacationing on Hawaii with his infant son and long-time girlfriend as she recuperated from chemotherapy and prepared to undergo surgery, a double mastectomy,  when he was hit by a freak wave from behind that pushed him into a Maui blow hole to his death.

Dancing and frolicking in the spray, this is the moment seconds before a California man was sucked into a Maui blow hole to his death.

 Maui Blow Hole

Mr Potts briefly came up to the surface, before tragically disappearing again when the next wave hit.
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'It's just too much and we barely know where to begin or what to do first,' family friend Lisa Christensen, who was holidaying with the couple
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The blowhole, which is a popular tourist attraction, was created by pounding surf that undercut and wore away a lava shelf.  Every wave pushes water and air through the hole, creating an eruption similar to a geyser, before the water is then sucked back into the blowhole.

An experienced swimmer drowned and a life guard is in critical condition after 'breath holding' exercises at a Staten Island pool that was only 3 feet deep.

They were practicing techniques similar to those used in military training.
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Parks Commissioner Adian Benepe said two of Vitenko and Proce's friends were also in the water but were not taking part in the training exercises.  He said: 'It's a tragic and almost incomprehensible accident, the pool is three-and-a-half feet across the entire surface.

Two lifeguards and 20 swimmers failed to spot them.

It's not clear if the duo was following an official training program, or if they had devised their own workout, said Lt. Col. Robert Roy, head of Air Force recruiting in New York.
Either way, the military advises against certain breath-holding exercises or swimming underwater at length to avoid "shallow water blackout," which can lead to drowning.

And a third, Girl, 13, sucked to her death by swimming pool circulation pump after workers forgot to replace grille

'The pump was so strong that as she swam it had the effect of a whirlpool and pulled her under and sucked her in,' said a police spokesman.  'It was a terrible way to die.'
Posted by Jill Fallon at July 14, 2011 11:35 PM | Permalink