Scuba diver dies at Lake Spaulding |

Scuba diver dies at Lake Spaulding

Dave Moller
Sun News Service

A scuba diver died in an accident at Lake Spaulding Sunday morning, perhaps from ascending too fast.

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said victim Richard Davis III, 56, of Auburn, was planning to dive to about 90 feet near the boat dock about 11 a.m.

Dive companion Nicholas Griffin, 23, of Applegate, told authorities Davis motioned he was going back to the surface at 50 feet, “and he apparently ascended too quickly.”

Royal, who has been diving himself for five years said, “Coming up too quick, you face a number of issues.”

Those include what is commonly called “the bends” also known as decompression illness, Royal said. The illness causes nitrogen bubbles to form that can cause a heart attack, “and all kinds of problems in the blood system.”

Royal said Davis’ quick rise to the surface also could have caused lung tissues to burst. Divers are taught to come up slowly while breathing through their apparatus, and to breathe out during an emergency ascent to avoid that problem, the sheriff said.

Davis was pronounced dead at the scene by the Truckee Fire Department, Royal said, and an autopsy is pending. His wife, Deborah Davis, 46, of Auburn, was at the accident location.