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Police: Drowned Scuba Instructor was Wearing Weight Belt While Trying to Retrieve Snorkel from Pool Bottom
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TYLER, Texas -- The scuba diving instructor who drowned at a Tyler diving center on Sunday wore a weighted belt while trying to retrieve a snorkel from the bottom of a pool, witnesses told police.

Barbara McAlpin, 47, was pronounced dead at East Texas Medical Center nearly five hours after the incident at Scuba Center, 3030 Texas Highway 31 East, in Tyler, Texas.

According to a press release from the Tyler Police Department, a husband and wife who were taking a diving class said they were preparing for a dive when they noticed the snorkel at the bottom of the indoor training pool. McAlpin entered the pool as the students were putting on their diving gear.

The students later realized the instructor had been at the bottom of the pool for several minutes with the weighted belt on and no breathing apparatus. The man pulled her from the pool and tried to revive her while the woman called for help, police said.

Police are awaiting autopsy results from the Southeast Forensic Laboratory in Tyler before citing an official cause of death.

The owner of the scuba center did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Monday afternoon.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of UnderwaterTimes.com, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

2 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

re: Scuba diver instructor fatality: This death is one of far too many that demonstrate the severe drop in standards in training in the diving industry. Fifteen years ago entry level diver certification programs had minimum number of hours. For example 17 hrs was a minimum hours for pool time. Today, divers are given their entire certification class in less than 17 hours - in a weekend! These classes are based on "skill mastery". If the student completes the skill once correctly, the student never has to perform it again. The problem with this is it is impossible to develop reflexive skill competency when a skill is performed once - or even five times. It takes 20,30 times to develop a strong enough skill level so that a diver will survive a mask being accidentally knocked off by a buddy's fin during a night dive. Diving is one of the safest sports a healthy person can participate - if it is taught correctly! It's time to demand better dive training to prevent needless deaths.
   comment# 1   - Andrea Zaferes · Shokan, NY, USA · Nov 14, 2006 @ 4:11pm

Darwin at work.....
   comment# 2   - no name · saigon · Nov 3, 2010 @ 4:04am
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