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Posted: 8/10/2011 8:53:59 AM EDT

Body of missing Lake Tahoe diver found 17 years later

(Reuters) - The remarkably well-preserved body of a scuba diver who sank and vanished 17 years ago in Lake Tahoe has been found on an underwater ledge deep in the mountain lake, authorities said on Tuesday.

The body of Donald Christopher Widecker, 44, was pulled from Lake Tahoe on July 27, four days after a group of divers stumbled across it while exploring a granite cliff 270 feet below the surface.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/09/us-diver-body-idUSTRE7785WI20110809
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:54:36 AM EDT
Hide and seek winner.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:56:22 AM EDT
glad they recovered it so the family can have some closure
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:59:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:59:54 AM EDT
Heard about this yesterday on the radio. That water is COLD. Bodies from years back wash up every now and then.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:00:09 AM EDT
Damn,  I wonder what caused his death, sounds like a heart attack or stroke.  If it was a gear malfunction I would think he would have dumped his weight belt and gear and made for the surface.  

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:01:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tmleadr03:
Hide and seek winner.


That's so wrong but I LOL'd.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:02:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By surplusnut:
glad they recovered it so the family can have some closure


Amen.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:03:27 AM EDT
Sources say the diver was found next to a well preserved corpse dating back to the 30s, wearing a new pair of cement shoes.

Isn't Lake Tahoe notorious for preserving corpses at depth?

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:03:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:04:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DangerJ:
Sources say the diver was found next to a well preserved corpse dating back to the 30s, wearing a new pair of cement shoes.

Isn't Lake Tahoe notorious for preserving corpses at depth?

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I bet a good submarine could find some really awesome creepy stuff down there.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:04:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:05:32 AM EDT
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene.  That helps preserve the body.



270 feet?  The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers.  Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:09:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Shane333:
Originally Posted By DangerJ:
Sources say the diver was found next to a well preserved corpse dating back to the 30s, wearing a new pair of cement shoes.

Isn't Lake Tahoe notorious for preserving corpses at depth?

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I bet a good submarine could find some really awesome creepy stuff down there.


Yeah no kidding.  Glad his family has some closure though. My worst fear is a loved one to go missing & have no answers.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:09:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tmleadr03:
Hide and seek winner.


jimmy hoffa the union boss still winning.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:10:08 AM EDT
well we know where to hide the hooker bodies now
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:10:56 AM EDT




Originally Posted By Keith_J:

In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.



270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.




Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  



Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:11:15 AM EDT
dibs on his watch.



btw, can i get a salvage permit for bodies?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:11:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:11:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Shane333:
Originally Posted By surplusnut:
glad they recovered it so the family can have some closure


Amen.


Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:13:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


They were using mixed gas according to the article.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:13:51 AM EDT
Lake Superior does that.

Not really surprising given the water temp and maximum depth of 1332 feet and an average depth of 482 feet.



Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:14:01 AM EDT
On my advanced dive, we went down to 99 feet. computer read 36 degrees. This was July in MN quarry pit. I can't imagine 270'.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:14:24 AM EDT



Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:



Originally Posted By schizrade:

Heard about this yesterday on the radio. That water is COLD. Bodies from years back wash up every now and then.




And Anoxic.  That is what preserved him.


Lake Tahoe is not anoxic. The depth and cold water preserves bodies. The water is so cold that gasses which normally cause a body to float in water never form, so they sink.



 
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:15:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


Bodies?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:15:53 AM EDT



Originally Posted By substandard:





Originally Posted By Keith_J:

In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.



270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.




Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  



Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


He sank after dying. Bodies in the lake sink. See my above post.



 
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:16:30 AM EDT
"Here we have a diver in 270 feet of water that stays at 36 to 38 degrees constantly, doesn't change much," Byers said.

"Because he had wetsuit on he was protected from the elements and was just remarkably preserved. From a pathological standpoint it's pretty incredible," he said. "Literally, it's a little spooky."

Spooky is the first thing I thought before opening up your post.

At least the family can bury his remains.

I'm guessing he had a heart attack due to the frigid waters.

Chris

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:16:56 AM EDT



Originally Posted By Jeffreysox:



Originally Posted By substandard:




Originally Posted By Keith_J:

In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.



270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.




Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  



Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.




Bodies?


Rock formations are apparently pretty spectacular in the lake and there are small cave networks from all of the massive rocks dropped into the lake laying atop one another.



 
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:17:21 AM EDT




Originally Posted By substandard:





Originally Posted By Keith_J:

In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.



270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.




Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?



Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.




Recreational diving max depth is 130 feet. The same gear will go quite a bit deeper. You aren't going much below 200 feet without mixed gas training due to oxygen intake concerns.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:18:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


They were using mixed gas according to the article.



You can go to about 220 on air...at a risk of an O2 hit...I may or may not have done that .  I am rated to 170 on air but what you are fighing more it N2 (makes you high as a kite )
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:19:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


They were using mixed gas according to the article.


Maximum depth for recreational diving is 130 feet. Mixed gas can take you below 300 feet.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:19:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By klinc:

Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


Recreational diving max depth is 130 feet. The same gear will go quite a bit deeper. You aren't going much below 200 feet without mixed gas training due to oxygen intake concerns.


Nitrogen narcosis is the problem.  Concerns start a little over 100 foot depth.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_narcosis
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:19:42 AM EDT
Down there keeping company with Fredo Corleone?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:21:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Partisan:
Originally Posted By klinc:

Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


Recreational diving max depth is 130 feet. The same gear will go quite a bit deeper. You aren't going much below 200 feet without mixed gas training due to oxygen intake concerns.


Nitrogen narcosis is the problem.  Concerns start a little over 100 foot depth.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_narcosis


I've gone to 120 while recreationally diving, but my bottom time was pretty damn short.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:21:27 AM EDT




Originally Posted By schizrade:





Originally Posted By substandard:





Originally Posted By Keith_J:

In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.



270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.




Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?



Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


He sank after dying. Bodies in the lake sink. See my above post.



Well hell, ....   Yes that would make sense. My brain unit is not running at full speed today.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:23:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tmleadr03:
Hide and seek winner.


First post.  I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:23:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Partisan:
Originally Posted By tmleadr03:
Hide and seek winner.


jimmy hoffa the union boss still winning.


Maybe you've never heard of a dude named DB Cooper...
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:23:49 AM EDT
Widecker was last seen in 1994 by a friend and dive partner, who reported seeing him sinking quickly in the lake, his respirator out of his mouth. The friend was unable to save him at the time.


No, really?!?!

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:24:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


Anything beyond 200' on air is pushing it.  I've been down around 200 ft but only very briefly before immediately heading back up.  O2 becomes toxic around partial pressure of 2 atm.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:24:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 9:28:49 AM EDT by Badlatitude]
Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
Damn,  I wonder what caused his death, sounds like a heart attack or stroke.  If it was a gear malfunction I would think he would have dumped his weight belt and gear and made for the surface.  



I dont know if he was diving Nitrox or air but if he was he may have gotten an off mixs and suffered from Central nervous system oxygen toxicity. You max alowable depth is dictated by how much oxygen is in your mix.

ETA Nitrox extends your dive time by displacing nitrogen with oxygen. Regulat air is 21% oxygen. More O2 , longer dive time BUT with the raise in % of oxygen comes a danger. You depth must be limited. If he grabbed a wrong tank OR if he was not paying attention and wandered too deep CNS oxygen toxicity is a danger.

Than again he might have just gotten Nitrogen narcosis and gone loopy and checked out also
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:25:56 AM EDT
Nitrogen narcosis is no laughing matter
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:26:34 AM EDT
Polo!!!!................................
...........................................
...........................................
well I guess I won.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:27:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 9:28:25 AM EDT by klinc]




Originally Posted By Partisan:



Originally Posted By klinc:





Originally Posted By substandard:





Originally Posted By Keith_J:

In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.



270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.




Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?



Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.




Recreational diving max depth is 130 feet. The same gear will go quite a bit deeper. You aren't going much below 200 feet without mixed gas training due to oxygen intake concerns.




Nitrogen narcosis is the problem. Concerns start a little over 100 foot depth.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_narcosis


Yes getting narced is some concern. Some poeple it hits them well before 100 feet and some poeple it doesn't affect much at all. Breathing air a bit below 200 ft will certainly kill most poeple. Oxygen toxicity...
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:27:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Fourman:
Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
Originally Posted By substandard:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
In that water, most if not all skin is covered with thick neoprene. That helps preserve the body.

270 feet? The divers must have been on mixed gas at the minimum, if not rebreathers. Damn near freezing temps too, dry suits.


Isn't the max depth for standard SCUBA equipment something like 100' or 115' ?  

Wonder what would be so interesting in Lake Tahoe to go to the trouble to dive to that depth.


They were using mixed gas according to the article.



You can go to about 220 on air...at a risk of an O2 hit...I may or may not have done that .  I am rated to 170 on air but what you are fighing more it N2 (makes you high as a kite )


Nitrogen Narcosis...I'mmmm flyingggg, noooo I'mmmmm divingggggg. I kinda like getting a little narked, every now and again.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:28:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DangerJ:
Nitrogen narcosis is no laughing matter


But, but, isn't that what dentist use?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:28:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Badlatitude:
Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
Damn,  I wonder what caused his death, sounds like a heart attack or stroke.  If it was a gear malfunction I would think he would have dumped his weight belt and gear and made for the surface.  



I dont know if he was diving Nitrox or air but if he was he may have gotten an off mixs and suffered from Central nervous system oxygen toxicity. You max alowable depth is dictated by how much oxygen is in your mix.


I doubt it was Nitrox, I could be mistaken but iirc Nitrox was just coming into the recreational market around that time.  According to the parallel thread running in GD on this they said he had bouancy issues at 100' and started to sink and his buddy couldn't reach him in time.  That doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense though, if i started having bouancy issues I'd start swimming for a shallower depth and if needed dump my weight belt.

I'd be interested to know more about what caused his death or what problems led to his eventual drowning.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:28:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 9:30:21 AM EDT by deltaheavy]
Originally Posted By Texdiver:

Maximum depth for recreational diving is 130 feet.


While this is a good safety recommendation, it is far from an absolute truth.
I've been deeper on air, but of course wouldn't condone it as a safe practice.
I got narc'ed pretty bad around 140 once, so I don't plan on making that a habit.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:31:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
Originally Posted By Badlatitude:
Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
Damn,  I wonder what caused his death, sounds like a heart attack or stroke.  If it was a gear malfunction I would think he would have dumped his weight belt and gear and made for the surface.  



I dont know if he was diving Nitrox or air but if he was he may have gotten an off mixs and suffered from Central nervous system oxygen toxicity. You max alowable depth is dictated by how much oxygen is in your mix.


I doubt it was Nitrox, I could be mistaken but iirc Nitrox was just coming into the recreational market around that time.  According to the parallel thread running in GD on this they said he had bouancy issues at 100' and started to sink and his buddy couldn't reach him in time.  That doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense though, if i started having bouancy issues I'd start swimming for a shallower depth and if needed dump my weight belt.

I'd be interested to know more about what caused his death or what problems led to his eventual drowning.


negative boyancy issues are definatly a weird one. Maybe he was old school and not using a BC or a wing?  I think its possible he checked out or was unconcious prior to his sinking issue. Its such an old story im sure we will never get all the facts. Especially the way the news loses interest in something faster than a 5 year old on a suger rush.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:36:03 AM EDT
I almost got killed by a bad air fill from some shit hole dive shop in FL. Got down to 30 something ft and started feeling real weird. vision started closing in and seeing sunny bubbles. I got in the boat and collapsed. My friends son pulled my gear off as I was talking nonsense and poured cool water on my face and head. When the rest of the guys came up from shooting fish we figured out the air fill STUNK like F'ing car exhast! There must have been a car idling by their compressor when they filled my tank.

It was by far the scariest thing thats ever happened to me.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:36:41 AM EDT
And all this time I thought he'd skipped town with the stuff I'd lent him...
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:38:19 AM EDT
Being a Medic.....Where are the Pics?
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