Instructor fined after diver dies at 45m

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A Yorkshire diving instructor has been fined for inadequate supervision following the death of a rebreather trainee during a submarine wreck dive in Scotland four years ago.

Ashley Roberts of Huddersfield, whose company Ash Roberts Technical was dissolved two years ago, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1974 and was fined £ 2,300 . The proceedings in Edinburgh Sheriff Court have been reported by the Yorkshire Post and the Huddersfield Examiner.

In July 2017, William Peace, a diver from Glenrothes, 59, participated in a 45m wreck dive, three miles off Dunbar in south-eastern Scotland. Their target was a German World War I mine-laying submarine that sank in 1916.

Peace had about 30 years of recreational diving experience, and he and another intern used closed-circuit rebreathers. Roberts had told them the session would be a “fun dive” that would allow him to assess their abilities before embarking on a TDI mixed gas closed-circuit rebreather course with him the next day.

Roberts and the trainees were all down to 13m when the instructor decided to climb back up to find out what had happened to a friend who was supposed to have accompanied them. The friend had quit the dive because of a leaking drysuit, but by the time Roberts had come back down he had not been able to find the trainees.

The two men had continued to the seabed, where they had found themselves in difficulty. The peace had grown numb and his boyfriend had made several unsuccessful attempts to lift him before running out of time and having to go up alone.

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