Thursday, August 8, 2013
An investigation into the June 19 death of Diver 3rd Class Robert Dotzler, 22, of Berkeley, California found that he died as a result of accidental drowning, according to a Navy news release.
Dotzler's death occurred at Alpha Pier on U.S. Naval Base Guam:
Dotzler was discovered unconscious in the water and was transported to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam where he was pronounced dead at 11:27 a.m.
Characterizing Dotzler's death as "tragic," the investigation concluded that his death was accidental and occurred in the line of duty.
As Home Post reported in June, a Navy official told reporters that the accident occurred during training, although Dotzler was not diving during that training...
...but rather observing other divers from the water’s surface in a “snorkeling-like role.” The official didn’t say whether Dotzler was using any of the breathing apparatus in this role, or if he was actually using a snorkel as his breathing means while on the surface.
The divers whom Dotzler was observing could not find him when they surfaced, and later discovered him unconscious at the bottom of the harbor.
Dotzler was assigned to the USS Frank Cable. He grew up in Kiel, Wisconsin, and was passionate about diving. His family spoke with Wisconsin television station WGBA-TV: