HAMILTON—A 43-year-old scuba diver died yesterday while working on a low-budget horror movie in the waters off the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club.
The victim, a professional diver, and his wife were working on Marina Monster, when tragedy struck. Filming a routine scene at 11 a.m. in water four metres deep, they were towing a shark-shaped prop, about four metres from the dock, when she surfaced alone.
Minutes later, the prop could be seen floating freely. Witnesses say the worried woman asked if anybody had seen her husband surface.
"She knew something was wrong right away. She noticed the bubbles and told us that was a sign that he wasn't breathing," said Jason Tennant, a sound technician with the film crew.
As she struggled to remove gear to dive back in and find her husband, Tennant threw off his shoes and dove in. " I just kept coming up and going back down, but the water was too murky. I couldn't see anything."
It's believed the man was under water eight to 12 minutes before he was found and brought to the surface by a pair of young lifeguards — Maggie Turnbull and Aaron Jarecki — hailed from the club's outdoor pool. It took Turnbull several minutes to find the victim. Together, they pulled the diver to the surface, hampered by the weights attached to his body. With no vital signs, he was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police have not released his name pending notification of kin. The coroner and labour ministry are investigating. A ministry diving specialist will help. No foul play is suspected. Hamilton coroner Dr. Jack Stanborough said there would be an autopsy today. "We're looking at it either being a natural death or an accident."