Lawsuit over San Diego Marine who died during dive - San Diego, California Talk Radio Station - 760 KFMB AM - 760kfmb

Lawsuit over San Diego Marine who died during dive

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The family of a Camp Pendleton Marine killed in a diving accident off the coast of San Diego is suing everyone involved.

Staci Jackson died in December 2012 while diving around the sunken ship Yukon.

Jackson officially died from blunt force head injury. It's believed a strong surge slammed the 26-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine into the Yukon, a sunken ship she was diving to explore.

But according to this lawsuit filed by an attorney for Jackson's mother, something else caused her death -- negligence.

"The dive never should have taken place. Seven- to 12-foot surf, extremely heavy surge, extremely hazardous, two other boating companies refused to go out. It was too dangerous," attorney James Frantz said.

It happened December 1, 2012. Jackson was diving with an instructor and three other classmates when she began having problems with buoyancy. Her dive master tried to help her, but lost his grip. As Staci sank, he surfaced.

"He lets her go, she drops to the bottom,100 to 110 feet. He goes to the top and abandons her," Franz said.

Other divers on the boat eventually found Staci, but she had somehow become tangled in ropes inside the Yukon. Although at that point she was most certainly already dead, attempts to cut her free didn't work. Lifeguards came back the next day and recovered her body.

"The real thrust of this case is we want to stop this kind of reckless conduct by these dive companies," Franz said.

A representative for Water Horse, the boat company named in the lawsuit, says he hasn't seen the complaint yet and doesn't understand why they're named in the case.

He says they simply drove the divers to the spot and would have turned around and issued refunds if the dive master felt conditions weren't safe, something he says they've done numerous times before.

Other names in the lawsuit include the dive company, the dive master, and the company that certified the dive master.

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