Tour dive companies review safety protocols in wake of teen’s death in Maunalua Bay

Tour dive companies review safety protocols in wake of teen’s death in Maunalua Bay

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Master dive instructor Shaun Shuster of Aaron’s Dive Shop in Kailua says instructors must maintain eye contact with their divers and pass three skills to go on dive down to 40 feet; clear the regulator of water, recover it, and clear a partly flooded mask.

"Ultimately it is up to the instructor whether or not they pass the skills and if I need to turn someone down because I don't feel it will be safe underwater, I will do so," said Shuster.

Scuba instructors say it is safe to take inexperienced swimmers out into the ocean for an introductory dive, but to get certified it takes at least 3 days.

On Saturday, 13-year-old Temuulin Tsogt from Mongolia had been on his first scuba dive when he was found in 65 feet of water according to the family’s attorney. The results of an autopsy are pending and it’s still unknown what exactly went wrong.

The family’s attorney said the instructor and three divers surfaced without the teen. The company, Island Divers Hawaii, isn’t commenting about the investigation.

The area where the accident happened is a popular tour diving diving spot about 200 yards off Hawaii Kai known as Koko Craters. Turtles and other sea life can be seen during typical conditions and divers say Saturday's weather was not usual.

Still, Warren Murray, the owner of Aaron’s Dive Shop says it’s reviewing safety procedures as a precaution.

“After what’s happened, it’s prudent to look at what you are currently doing and if there’s any holes that we’ve missed in our procedures and go through it and do a training. I think it’s common sense.”

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