The investigation continues into the deaths of two Carson High School juniors who died while scuba diving in the Monterey Bay on Saturday.
According to Monterey County Sheriff's Detective Kevin Gardepie, Keegan Aiazzi, 17, and Stephen Anderson, 16, were among a group of 19 divers who took to the ocean from a boat chartered by Adventure Scuba out of Reno.
"Nineteen went down - a combination of students and dive instructors - and when the rest of the group surfaced the two did not," said Gardepie. "A search was initiated and they eventually located both boys underneath the water in cardiac arrest."
Gardepie said Keegan and Stephen were located "relatively close" to one another. They were brought to the surface where rescuers administered CPR and the boys were taken to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula where they were pronounced dead. According to a Carson City School District press release, both of the boys' airtanks were empty.
Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Laura Williams said the Coast Guard deployed a 25-foot boat and helicopter at 11:57 a.m. At 1:32 p.m. they received word from the Monterey County Fire Department that the boys had been located, she said. Williams said the Coast Guard will conduct a separate investigation into the incident.
"Any time there is a marine casualty, death or collision we conduct our own investigation," she said.
Stephen's father, Chris Anderson, said he and his wife were in Monterey with their son who was taking part in a school trip to the Monterey Aquarium which ended Friday evening. But Adventure Scuba had organized dives for the newly certified divers, several of them students in an oceanography class at Carson High School.
The Andersons were not on the boat or at the beach when the incident occurred.
Stephen and Keegan were on their second dive of the day when something went tragically wrong.
"Right now it's under investigation and we were told not to say anything until the investigation was over," said Janet Flenner, sales manager for Adventure Scuba.
Chris Anderson said his youngest child was a smiling, playful teen.
"He wanted everyone around him to be happy. He didn't take anything to too seriously," he said. "He was a good student and a really good athlete. Dedicated."
In addition to being best friends, Keegan and Stephen played on the school's football team together.
With such high-profile positions in the student body, their deaths sparked a torrent of grief across Facebook and other social networking sites. Scores of messages were posted on each of Stephen and Keegan's walls, and on a memorial Facebook page where pictures taken as late as Friday also were posted.
In one, the boys are seen grinning as they give piggy-back rides to some female classmates outside the Monterey Aquarium.
Chris Anderson said he was surprised to learn that on Saturday night, while he and his wife, Thea, were still in Monterey reeling from their devastating loss, a memorial was organized in Carson City by the pastor-father of one of his son's teammates.
"A number of people have told us that they got together and everyone was crying, but by the time they left everyone was feeling good. They had told stories about Stephen and Keegan. I haven't had a chance to talk to (the pastor) to thank him," said Chris Anderson. "Stephen was just a good kid. It was an accident that happened. I don't understand why it happened, but was nobody's fault. It's something that shouldn't have happened."
On Monday morning, as grieving classmates hovered in the parking lot where a memorial to the boys had sprung up near their designated parking spaces, the Anderson and Aiazzi families were on hand.
Chris Anderson said he was surprised by the number of children who knew his son.
"All of these students came and gave us hugs and told us how sorry they were. No one would come up and tell me they were sorry and loved Stephen unless they knew him one way or another... so Stephen touched them in some way or another."
Gardepie would not speculate on what caused the two healthy boys to drown in close proximity to each other.
He said his investigation would not be complete until he'd interviewed all the witnesses.
"I need to get into the investigation to figure out what happened at the bottom of the ocean," he said. "And it's not going to be easy to get the answer."
Autopsies were performed Monday, but the official cause of death is pending the completion of the investigation, said Gardepie.
According to the Monterey Herald, the incident happened about 1,000 to 1,500 feet offshore between the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Clement Monterey, a hotel on Cannery Row.
Gardepie said the location is a world-renowned diving spot.
"We are on the edge of the continental shelf right off Monterey Bay," he said. "It's one of the most beautiful areas in the world to dive, but also the most treacherous because of the heavy undertow and surf."
Monterey County Sheriff's Commander Mike Richards said several scuba deaths are reported yearly in the county.