Yesterday, Saturday May 01, a diver was involved in an accident. We, at Kraken Springs, are devastated by this accident and the subsequent loss of life. Extensive research will be needed to learn exactly what caused the accident. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we cannot provide any further details at this time.
A comprehensive investigation of the accident will be conducted by The Bartow County Sheriff and Coroner’s office. The investigation will take some time and substantive information will be released by these agencies.
At this time, we ask for prayers for the diver’s family and accident responders.
WXIA 11 Alive reports the following (click here for the full post)
Bartow County Fire Chief Dwayne Jamison said that his dive team was called out to assist in the search for the victim after he checked in, but never checked out at Kraken Springs near White, Georgia. Jamison said his divers were able to recover the victim, who he said was an off-duty Gwinnett County firefighter. He added that the location is popular for both recreational dives and training. He said the victim was on a recreational dive.
Coroner Joel Guyton later identified the victim as Robert Fernandez but said a cause of death hasn’t yet been determined and will be the subject of an autopsy.
Authorities haven’t said whether Fernandez was diving alone.
A relative posted the following information:
“To our many friends and family. Our Son-in-law, Robert Robert N Jr Fernandez, passed away yesterday afternoon, while diving near Cartersville, Ga. Robert was a lieutenant with Gwinnett Fire and leaves behind a wife, four children, a mother, siblings, grandmother and an entire department of firefighter brothers and sisters. Our hearts are broken today and we desperately need your continued prayers.”
About Lt. Robert Fernandez: He was a veteran firefighter and was part of Gwinnett’s “swiftwater” rescue team. A fire department post states:
“Gwinnett has many recreational bodies of water, ranging from creeks and ponds to Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River, and in the Georgia summer heat, they’re a great way to cool off. However, these types of water bodies can change in depth quickly and are most often filled with currents. This type of water is called swiftwater, and there’s so much of it in Gwinnett County that the County’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services has a special team called the Swiftwater Rescue Team.” For more and source of photo to the right: Gwinnett.
An online fund has been started to support the Fernandez family and, as of Monday morning, more than $7,700 had been contributed. For more, click donations.
“Fig was as he was known to many, loved his job, loved his family, loved the citizens he served, and loved the fellow firefighters he worked with. He gave of himself and has helped so many.”