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Friends, family mourn Technical Diver who drowned off American coast

Like he did almost every week, Correy Fedor went scuba diving with his pals from Any Water Sports in San Jose.

But something horrible happened to the experienced diver Thursday morning. The 22-year-old Fedor had some sort of trouble, and he became separated from his two friends. They surfaced. He didn’t. And when he finally was found, he was dead.

Today, his friends and family gathered in San Jose to mourn “one of the good guys,” said Fedor’s aunt, Jill Perry. “He was one of those great kids. We may never know what happened to him.”

Fedor, along with Frank Barry who owns Any Water Sports, and another friend, Scott Chapman, were scuba diving off Monastery Beach in Monterey County on Thursday before work starting at 7:30 a.m., according to Barry’s wife, Ginny Barry.

State Park Sector Superintendent Dana Jones said Fedor was doing a “technical dive” down 250 feet — which is quite deep for amateur divers — but something Fedor had done before.

Fedor’s family said his equipment has been checked out, and nothing was malfunctioning. He had no health problems that his family knew about. According to the nonprofit group Divers Alert Network, deep diving can be fraught with potential hazards including something called nitrogen narcosis,a condition that can sneak up quickly and cause the diver to not think clearly. The Monterey County coroner’s office, however, has not yet released the cause of death.

Recounting the story told to her by her husband, Ginny Barry said the trio were making their “scheduled stops” back up to surface — something that’s necessary because it’s impossible to shoot straight back up to the surface.”They meticulously planned this dive,” Barry said. “But it was dark and overcast. Frank checked his compass and tapped Correy on the arm and pointed in the direction they were traveling. He assumed Correy was behind him and making his safety stops.”

When Frank Barry checked again next to him, Fedor wasn’t there, but he thought his friend was still following the plan. Barry and Chapman reached the surface.

When they couldn’t find Fedor — a University of California-Santa Cruz student studying anthropology — Chapman called 911 and Barry scoured the water. Fedor worked in Barry’s shop as a diving tech, and also on Barry’s charter boat in Monterey as a deckhand and dive master, Ginny Barry said.

Finally, her husband found Fedor facedown in the water and tried to revive him, rangers said. Emergency crews rushed on scene and performed CPR until 10:30 a.m. to no avail.

Fedor’s aunt said her nephew, a 2005 Santa Teresa High School graduate, was beloved in the scuba community. Fedor’s parents, Vanessa and Joe, along with brothers Jarred, 26, and Preston, 29, have been reading scuba blogs, learning how much divers connected to the happy-go-lucky Fedor, who also loved hiking, rock climbing and fishing.

“He and his father were planning one last fishing trip before school started,” Perry said. “They were supposed to put it on the calendar last night.”

Since 2004, 15 divers have died in Monterey County waters at spots including Point Lobos, Lovers Point in Pacific Grove and San Carlos Beach near Cannery Row, according to the Divers Alert Network medical research department. Two deaths reportedly occurred at Monastery Beach in that time period.

This is the second time this year a San Jose man has died after scuba diving in the Monterey area, although the other death was a different beach. In early August, Alec Piplani, 49, had trouble breathing after entering the water off McAbee Beach on Cannery, and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

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