In a tragic incident, a 20-year-old woman, slipped into a coma after her scuba diving attempt went wrong.
Born in Chikkamagaluru’s Lakkavali, Sruthi had married Seetharamakrishna, a software engineer, working for Yahoo at San Jose in California, 11 months ago.
She had moved to the USA and the couple had decided to vacation at the Hawaii Islands for a week.
“On June 30, I received a call from my son-in-law. He told me that Sruthi was in a coma and was not responding to anyone. Earlier that day, Sruthi and Seetharamakrishna had decided to attempt scuba diving. My daughter had never tried it before and it was her first time. They were still not supposed to go inside the water but while they were on the deck, both their oxygen pipes snapped and they fell into the water,” Vishwanath, Sruthi's father said.
Seetharamakrishna was rescued immediately. Expert divers swung into action to look for Sruthi and fished her out within minutes. By the time she was taken to the Maui Memorial Medical Center in Sunnyvale, it was too late. The exact cause of the accident is still not clear.
While diving is a high risk activity, it is mostly safe with one fatality occurring for every 211,864 dives according to the Diver's Alert Network (DAN) 2010 Diving Fatalities Workshop Report. The most common causes of diving accidents are pre-existing disease, poor buoyancy control, rapid ascent/violent water movement, equipment problems and gas-supply problems.
“The doctors told my son-in-law that by the time the divers got my daughter out, the water had already entered her lungs. She had slipped into a coma before they got her to the hospital. She has not woken up or responded for four days. The doctors suggested that we visit here as soon as possible but we don’t have passports,” Vishwanath said.
Vishwanath and his wife visited the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Chikkamagaluru, Dr M Lokesh, as soon as they heard the news. The ADC directed them to apply for a tatkal passport.
The couple also met BJP State President, BS Yeddyurappa, who spoke to the External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj and assured Vishwanath of a speedy process in obtaining his passport.
“The regional passport officer also assured me of immediate issuance of passport. Today is our interview at the passport office. I want to see my daughter and ensure that I can do everything to help her,” Vishwanath added.