Kadena captain dies after scuba diving at popular dive spot
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — An Air Force captain died Saturday after scuba diving in waters off the Sunabe seawall.
Capt. Amy Brown, a medical readiness flight commander with the 18th Medical Support Squadron, reportedly lost consciousness about 1:30 p.m. after surfacing at the popular dive spot near the Kadena Air Base’s front gate, according to an 18th Wing news release.
She was rushed to the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester by an Okinawan ambulance, but medical staff were unable to revive her, according to the release.
The incident is under investigation by military authorities.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Amy’s family,” Brig. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, 18th Wing commander, is quoted in the release. “We are saddened by the loss of a valued team member.”
According to a study by the University of the Ryukyus, there were 40 scuba diving-related deaths on Okinawa between 1982 and 2007.
According to a Kadena Air Base water safety fact sheet published in April, there were 34 water-related mishaps on Okinawa involving American Department of Defense personnel and their dependents from 2000 to 2009.
That total included 21 fatalities that involved snorkeling, scuba diving, cliff diving or wave watching, according to the fact sheet.