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2 Navy divers drowned in test pond

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   April 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM   |   Comments

April 9 (UPI) -- The autopsies of two sailors from the Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit who died in an underwater testing pond at a Maryland Army facility in February determined that they died of accidental drowning.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Monday that Diver 1st Class James Reyher, 28, of Caldwell, Ohio and Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris, 23, of Gladstone, Mo., accidentally drowned during diving operations in the "Super Pond" at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds on February 26.

Further details from the autopsies will not be released for several months until the final report is prepared.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Harris and Reyher's deaths came on the heels of another incident that killed engineering technician George Lazzaro Jr. in January. Details on the cause and manner of Lazzaro's death have yet to be released to the public as the investigation is ongoing.

The Army closed the facility indefinitely in early March in response to the three deaths.

The Underwater Test Facility at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, a 1,070-foot long and 150-foot deep artificial pond on the Bush River where Army experts conduct shock tests on ships and submarines for the military, private interests and research.

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