Diving death investigation completed

Diving gear recovered a week after two Carson City teens died while scuba diving in the Monterey Bay was was determined to be in good working condition and did not contribute to their deaths April 9, an examination revealed.

"The Monterey County Coroner's Office has concluded the investigation into the deaths ... The equipment was laboratory tested, as well as being tested in ocean conditions that were similar to what the juveniles would have experienced ... Failure of the juveniles' dive systems did not occur," Monterey County Sheriff's Detective Kevin Gardepie said Monday. "With the completion of the investigation, the Coroner's Office has deemed the manner of Stephen Anderson and Keegan Aiazzi's death(s) to be accidental. The cause of death(s) will be listed as asphyxia, due to ocean drowning."

Stephen Anderson, 16, and Keegan Aiazzi, 17, were diving near Cannery Row with a group of other students from their oceanography class at Carson High School when they failed to surface. After more than an hour of searching, rescuers located the boys on the ocean floor. Gardepie said the rescuers shed the gear to bring the boys to the surface faster. In doing so, the gear was lost for eight days, he said. Attempts to resuscitate Stephen and Keegan were unsuccessful.

After confirming information with rescuers, it was discovered the air tanks, rented by Stephen and Keegan from the Monterey Express charter dive boat they were on, were empty when the boys were found.

It appears diver inexperience was the cause of the accident, said Gardepie.

"I wanted badly to find other issues - to gain a sense of justice for those poor boys' deaths," he said. "But there is no justice to be found in this case."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment