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Lessons to be learned
cooldiver - 5/01/2012 8:20 AM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 7

Photograph by: Courtesy of the Cross family.

CALGARY — A Calgary man is devastated after his wife died in a scuba-diving incident now under investigation by Mexican police.

Ronda Cross, 41, was diving Saturday with her cousin off Cabo San Lucas when she died, overcome by carbon monoxide in the scuba tanks, according to her family.

They are blaming faulty rental equipment.

“The carbon monoxide levels that were in her, she basically just fell asleep,” said her husband Colin Cross, who was golfing in Florida with his father at the time.

“My life has just been torn apart and ripped in half.

“I can’t even fathom what next week or the week after will look like. I thought growing old with her was all it was going to be. Continuing diving together and enjoying our vacations together,” Cross said.

Ronda’s cousin, Roxanne Amundson, and the pair’s dive master felt sick and had trouble breathing when they surfaced.

Ronda did not surface with them.

Her body was pulled out of the water by the crew of a nearby boat who found her floating in the water.

The group had been diving at a depth of about 23 metres.

Both Ronda and Colin have undertaken 200 dives and have travelled around the world for scuba experience.

Colin Cross said it was Sunshine Dive and Charter that filled the tanks for the group, but a staff member who answered the phone denied his shop had anything to do with the tanks.

The company lists itself as a five-star facility certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

Cross said he believes whoever filled the tanks was negligent and he’s warning anyone considering a dive trip in a developing country to ensure the rental tanks have been properly filled and inspected before using them.

“The blame has got to be put squarely on who filled up those tanks,” said Cross. “I just want people to know. My wife would want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

The couple met in Calgary in 1999 and married in 2003. Cross moved from Ontario in 1994 while Ronda arrived from Fort Nelson, B.C., that same year. They have lived in Elkford, B.C., for the past four years.

Cross said he has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage and he and Ronda were planning to adopt a child.

He works as an IT technician and she worked part time as a dental assistant.

“We tried to take at least two months’ vacation a year,” said Cross. “We just felt, you may as well do it now when you’re young and can enjoy it.”

Ronda’s body is expected to arrive in Calgary today.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday in Elkford.

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

Original source article: Family blames Calgary woman’s death in Mexico on faulty scuba equipment
Greg - 5/01/2012 8:24 AM
Wow, horrible story. But educational for sure. This makes me want to own a personal air quality testing device.
Greg - 5/01/2012 8:27 AM
Here is a product that detects carbon monoxide in scuba tanks:

Anyone else have other suggestions on easy-to-use air quality testers for scuba tanks?
Rich-D-Fish - 5/01/2012 1:01 PM
Scuba Toys seem to be out of those and don’t list the price. I found others on the net in the $200 range. Not sure I would ever use one to be honest. We have to trust human beings with our gear at some point in diving. I hope they find the guilty party and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. Knowing what the possible repercussions could be is the probably the best way to ensure air compressor owners keep their equipment in proper working order. I’m not sure what type of policing and testing/inspection compressors even go through. Very sad story in any case. I was planning to make a dive trip to Cabo next summer. I would really like to know who was responsible and what changes will take place before I go.
caves4me - 5/04/2012 1:43 PM
I’ve been using CO-Pro, cheap and effective!
cooldiver - 5/05/2012 1:35 PM
Sunshine Dive and Charter filled the tanks for the independent Dive Master.Very lucky there was not more deaths.
divershaun - 5/25/2012 7:33 AM
in the navy diving community we are required to send off air samples from every one of our compressors every six months so they can check the air and make sure things are good to go. sounds like something that the dive shops need to be getting in on too.