>I don't know to many of the details about this so if you can add
>anything (or I'm wrong) let me know!
Below is the text of a newspaper article from the Wenatchee World (the
local newspaper). I am posting it here only after much thought. The
original usenet post appears to be inaccurate in at least the depth
the dive was at. The original usenet post also wasn't even certain of
the state the accident occured in let alone name the specific
location. In the interest of trying to present a more accurate
picture, I decided to include the article. I also wish to express my
sympathy to the Bondottis.
The original post mentioned that they "bragged" about pushing the
limits. Unless the poster has some first (or even second) hand
information, this seems unsupported at this point. At least the
original post said "I don't know to [sic] many of the details about
this so if you can add anything (or I'm wrong) let me know!".
As if this original post was the gospel, others have already pounced
on this phrase and pronounced the cause of the accident -- all while
knowing nothing more than second hand (or worse), incomplete
Clearly, a tragedy happened that day and a human being lost their
life. I could now speculate (or pontificate) about the mistakes made
that Saturday but I won't -- all I have going for me is a good
knowledge of diving, a knowledge of the environment in which the
accident took place (although I have not dived that lake) and a local
newspaper article. Not enough information for me to draw definitive
I do believe that accidents need to be discussed in an objective way
that helps us to avoid other accidents. While the original post was
well intentioned, at least one follow up post comes across as mean
spirited towards the affected individuals.
"WENATCHEE - Lake Wenatchee resident Bonny Jo Bendotti died in a scuba
diving accident at Lake Wenatchee Saturday while trying to recover a
snowmobile at the bottom of the lake. Bendotti was the sister-in-law
of Chelan County Commissioner Tom Green.
Bonny, 43, and her husband, Gene, a member of the Chelan County
Planning Commission, had gone to the lake to help recover a friend's
specially equipped snowmobile that had fallen into the lake during a
race in August, according to sheriff's deputies. The snowmobile was
located about 150 yards offshore from the salmon net pens near the
Cougar Inn, Chelan County sheriff's deputies said.
The couple, who were certified to dive last spring but who did not
have a lot of diving experience, had gone underwater three times
before locating the snowmobile at 2:30 p.m. in 80 to 100 feet of
water, deputies said.
According to witnesses, the Bendottis got new air tanks and were
making their fourth dive at 3:15 p.m. to secure ropes to the
snowmobile when both of them got tangled in the ropes. Gene was able
to free himself by releasing his weight belt and tried to signal to
his wife to do the same. But as he was surfacing he lost track of her
because of the dim light at that depth, deputies said.
Charlie Johnston, manager of the East Wenatchee Water District and a
close friend of the Bendottis who was helping with the salvage effort
in a nearby boat, said Gene immediately looked for his wife as he
"He told us that Bonny was in trouble, and we called for help right
away," Johnston said.
But Gene was the only person with diving equipment at the scene, and
without his weightbelt he could not return to that depth. By the time
Chelan County rescue personnel arrived, Mrs. Bendotti had already been
underwater for quite some time.
Johnston said the Bendottis were a close couple who did everything
together - including boating, snowmobiling and diving.
"She was a bubbly, vivacious, neat, neat lady," Johnston said. "They
were very personable people and were looking forward to spending time
on their boat together next year. It is just a horrible tragedy."
The couple used to own Wenatchee Roofing but recently sold the
business, Johnston said. They have three children.
Deputies estimate Mrs. Bendotti was underwater for more than two hours
before rescue divers found her near the snowmobile and brought her to
the surface about 6 p.m. An autopsy was scheduled today.
Chelan County officials said detectives are still investigating the
incident, checking to see if any of the diving equipment
malfunctioned. " [Source: Wenatchee World Newspaper, Local Section]
Finally off of my soapbox...