Man dies during dive from Belmar charter boat, off Nantucket

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BELMAR — A 46-year-old British man died on July 24 after losing consciousness during a dive near Nantucket, from a Belmar-based charter boat during an excursion to the wreck of the ocean liner Andrea Doria, which sank there in 1956. Steven Slater, 46, of Gateshead, England, had been diving when he was pulled unconscious from the waters by the crew of the charter boat Ol’Salty, according to Petty Officer Nicole Groll, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson.   Petty Officer Groll said the Ol’ Salty crew performed CPR on Mr. Slater for about two hours. Capt. Christopher Anderson of the East Hampton Police Department on Long Island said that Air Station Cape Cod sent a medevac helicopter to the boat but Mr. Slater was pronounced dead before he could be transported for treatment. On July 25, the Ol’ Salty II docked at Montauk on Long Island, where Slater’s body was taken from the boat and transferred to a local hospital. At 7:49 a.m., the boat’s captain, Nick Caruso posted to Facebook, writing: “We’re coming home. Sad end. Our deepest, sorrow and sympathy to the family and friends of the lost brother wreck diver.” East Hampton police continue to investigate the incident, Capt. Anderson said, adding: “All appearances are at this point, that there was some sort of equipment malfunction. The equipment itself will be forensically examined.” The diver’s death falls near the 61st anniversary of the sinking of the Andrea Doria, an Italian luxury liner. Mr. Slater is the eighth person to die while diving near the Andrea Doria site since 2005. Thomas Pritchard, 64, was pronounced dead after he went missing on the wreck in 2015. Mr. Pritchard was diving from the John Jack, a 50-foot diving boat from Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

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Connor Northrup is a Sports Reporter at The Ocean Star. He can be reached at cnorthrup@thecoaststar.com or at 732-899-7606, ext 15.