MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — A teacher for M.C. Perry Elementary School died Sunday after a scuba diving lesson on Oshima Island, according to Department of Defense Dependent Schools-Pacific.

Sandra S. Alfier began experiencing physical problems during her ascent to the surface and was rushed to shore, where lifesaving measures were attempted by dive instructors and emergency responders, according to a news release. The 53-year-old teacher was taken by ambulance to Towa Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:43 p.m.

DODDS spokesman Charly Hoff said the exact cause of death is pending an autopsy.

Alfier transferred to M.C. Perry Elementary last summer and specialized in special education at the school. She had served with DOD schools since 1992, when she started as a substitute teacher in Geilenkirchen Elementary School in Germany and later was a full-time teacher at Sembach Elementary School, also in Germany.

A native of Trenton, N.J., Alfier started her federal service as a secretary in 1982, and during her career led Girl Scout troops, coached softball teams and tutored students in her free time.

She is survived by her daughter Amy Hayes, son-in-law Joseph and grandson Billy Hayes. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the base chapel.

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