Dive Instructor Arrested After Trapped Scientist Dies In Shipwreck

Story By: Ana LacasaSub-EditorJoana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash

The Spanish authorities have arrested a diving instructor for carrying out an unsafe dive that lead to the death of a trapped scientist inside a shipwreck.


The incident claimed the life of investigative oceanographer Maria Casanova, 27, during a dive off the coast of Gran Canaria in the Spanish Canary Islands on 10th October this year.

The young scientist died at the wreckage of Soo Yang, one of several ships located deep underwater in an area known as ‘Los Narcoticos’.

Investigations revealed several irregularities during the dive which lead to the arrest of a 45-year-old-man, name not disclosed.


The suspect was the diving instructor during the incident, according to an official report released on 29th November.

One notable irregularity was the lack of a dive plan which is mandatory and includes a risk evaluation that takes into account several factors including the place, depth, time, air consumption and the experience or title of the divers, according to reports.

Other factors that lead to the man’s arrest were the depth of the dive, which was deeper than is allowed, and the fact the wreckage had some very risky obstacles only suitable for well-trained divers.


The wreckage is reported to be at a depth of 41 metres (134 feet).

Officers also confirmed the evacuation plan was not properly carried out because they did not conduct security stops on their way up which also endangered the lives of the other divers.

The Spanish Civil Guard carried out several rescue operations before eventually managing to retrieve the victim’s body from where it was trapped in the wreck.


The suspect has been charged with gross negligence manslaughter as the investigation continues.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.