Editor's note: This is an corrected version of this story. The time of the dive and Greathouse's hometown were wrong in the original.
A fun dive by a group of vacationers ended in the death of young man Monday.
Tyler Greathouse, 28, of Raleigh, N.C., died while scuba diving with four family members near Popplestone Ledge, off Rafe’s Chasm. The family members made a radio call about a diver in distress at 11:10 a.m. and a Coast Guard Station Gloucester crew, less than a half mile away, heard it.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Jeff Quinn and a crew from Station Gloucester picked up a garbled radio call at 11:10 p.m. during search and rescue training off the breakwater. Quinn said they heard “Popplestone Ledge,” and something that sounded like “diver Tdown,” and raced across the harbor.
It was a weak signal, he said, and came from a handheld radio.
Popplestone Ledge sits near Norman’s Woe, across the harbor from the Dog Bar breakwater. People dive for recreation, and for lobsters in the reef around there, said Gloucester police Detective Steve Mizzoni. Greathouse came up to Gloucester for a vacation and was diving for fun with family members.
Someone in Greathouse’s boat waved down the Coast Guard as family members tried to resuscitate him, said Quinn. The Coast Guard brought Greathouse onto its boat, Quinn said, and continued trying to resuscitate him as they flew back to the station.
“We did CPR the entire way back in,” Quinn said.
Fire Department paramedics met them at the station and rushed Greathouse to Addison Gilbert Hospital. The state medical examiner pronounced him dead there. Police called his wife and family at 2 p.m. Monday.
It’s always rough when someone you’re trying to save dies,” said Quinn. “It’s part of the job, you can’t beat yourself up too much, you know.”
Gloucester and state police are investigating the accident, Mizzoni said, and haven’t found evidence of foul play. But, he said, police still aren’t sure how Greathouse died or the cause of his death. Initial police reports said Greathouse had drowned.
Mizzoni, who who’s been diving for 35 years, said Popplestone Ledge is a clear, and nice, dive. Greathouse and the other divers, though, he said, were inexperienced. That probably played a part, he said.
“It looks like a tragic accident that probably could have been avoided,” said Mizzoni.
Steven Fletcher can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @StevenGDT.