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May 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Cause of All These Diving Deaths?

heart attacks lead the way

from the May, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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In February, Scott Hacker (El Cerrito, CA), 51, said, "I watched a person die today." He was diving at Silfra, the freshwater dive site in Iceland where two tectonic plates collide. An unidentified 65-year-old American tourist died of a heart attack after snorkeling in the crystal-clear but freezing-cold water. It's the eighth such fatality to occur at Silfra in as many years, and park officials have raised concerns about many of the 50,000 people who visit each year, suggesting that tourists find it hard to adjust to the 37°F (3°C) cold water. Park Ranger Ólafur Örn Ólafsson says, "People pretend to be in good health, but turn out not to be."...

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