What has happened to the investigation into the death of the part time Imperial Irrigation District diver? 

—Former ICSO Diver, Imperial

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(2) comments

Jacob Walter

It would have been nice for IV Press to actually answer the question that was asked, which is what is the status of the investigation….

The correct answer to this question is that there has been a medical examiner’s report released which indicated that the diver suffered from a heart attack. However, there are still a series of investigations that need to be completed before the question of what happened that day can be answered. Every time there is a dive accident, there is an expert panel that investigates every last detail of the accident, just like a when there is a plane crash. Also, the story that is given about what happened in the water does not make any sense. It appears as though people who were on-scene are not telling the whole truth or that IID is trying to cover themselves as usual when mistakes are made on their behalf. The real questions about the dive accident that need answers are:

Why did the diver lose so much oxygen that he suffered severe brain damage, which ultimately caused his death? A person can be without oxygen for 5 minutes before any brain damage is caused. In order for the severe brain damage the diver had, he was clearly underwater for more than 5 minutes. This leads us to the next question.

What was the dive tender doing when the accident happened? He clearly wasn’t paying attention to his diver in the water because if he had, then the diver wouldn’t have lost so much oxygen whereas rescue mask divers carry would’ve forced oxygen into his brain immediately upon retrieval from the water. This obviously didn’t happen. A diver is tethered to a rope and it should only take a matter of 30 seconds or less to get them out of the water. Which takes me to my next question that is not related to the accident.

Why is Robert Amparano, the diver tender, still on Imperial City Council serving as the Mayor when he has been on disability from IID for stress caused by the accident if the cause was “just a heart attack”? I don’t understand how someone is too stressed to do their easy job at IID, but is not too stressed to serve the citizens of Imperial with a clear head. Ok now back to the accident…

Why was the diver under so much stress that he had a heart attack? There was no need to get the car out of the canal as soon as possible if there were no persons in there to recover. My understanding is that the vehicle stayed in the water for 3 days after the accident happened, which clearly did not cause any damage to IID’s water system.

If the diver had a pre-existing heart condition, then why did IID medically clear him to dive? As a rescue diver myself, I know that there is extensive medical testing that has to be completed prior to becoming certified and every year after. This includes examination of the heart. If they claim that he was obese, then why would IID clear him to perform a job that requires extensive physical fitness to perform safely. So now the real question…

Why is IID not claiming to have any fault in this accident? It is my understanding that IID has denied worker’s compensation to the diver’s family, that includes a young wife and 3 small children under the age of 5. The least that IID could do for this diver’s family from their clear negligence to run a safe dive program is make sure that the family is very well taken care of. From the budget that just the dive team has with those fancy lifted trucks that the dive team “leaders” drive (which they don’t need) and their abundance of flashy expensive gear, the IID can afford it even from the dive team budget alone.

The truth will come out eventually. Quit trying to hide from it.

MM Keperling

Thank you!!!!

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