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Dewey Smith

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Dewey Dewayne Smith (July 24, 1972 - May 5, 2009)[1] was an underwater diver, former Wikipedia:United States Navy Wikipedia:medic and professional Wikipedia:aquanaut. He died during a dive from the Aquarius Wikipedia:underwater habitat off Wikipedia:Key Largo in May 2009.[2][3][4] A subsequent investigation determined that multiple factors combined to cause the accident.[5]

Dewey Smith through theROUNDwindow

Dewey Smith invites us to come see what can be seen through the ROUND window

Life and career Edit

Smith was born in Wikipedia:Kirkwood, Missouri, but grew up and lived for most of his life in Wikipedia:Panama City, Florida. He served in the Wikipedia:United States Navy as a Wikipedia:Hospital Corpsman aboard the USS Peleliu in Wikipedia:San Diego, Wikipedia:California, and was honorably discharged after five years of service. He learned to scuba dive while working with Wikipedia:Florida State University's Underwater Crime Scene Investigation program.[2][6][7] Smith graduated from FSU with a B.S. degree in underwater crime scene investigation in 2005.[7][8] He subsequently worked as a commercial diver with Miracle Strip Welding & Marine Services and RME-Diver in Wikipedia:Panama City Beach, Wikipedia:Florida.[2][6][9]

Smith joined Aquarius, which is owned by the Wikipedia:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and operated by the Wikipedia:University of North Carolina Wilmington, in 2007. He worked as a habitat technician and undersea research diver.[3][6][10] As part of his work with Aquarius, Smith answered questions from schoolchildren.[11][12]

Aquarius habitat external

External view of the Aquarius habitat; flora and fauna of the surrounding ecosystem has already begun integrating it into the environment

In August 2007, Smith took part as a habitat technician in the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 13 (NEEMO 13) mission, one of a series of Wikipedia:NASA-NOAA missions which use Aquarius as an analog environment for space exploration. The NEEMO 13 crew lived and worked underwater aboard Aquarius for ten days.[13][14][15]

Death Edit

In May 2009, Smith was aboard Aquarius to train U.S. Navy divers in Wikipedia:saturation diving and prepare for upcoming scientific studies in the Wikipedia:Conch Reef area.[3]

On May 5, 2009, Smith was assisting two Navy divers, Bill Dodd and Corey Seymour, who were 300 feet from Aquarius using an underwater Wikipedia:jackhammer to install a way station that would contain breathable air. Smith informed Dodd and Seymour that he was returning to Aquarius but would be back. Five or ten minutes later, Seymour noticed that Smith was lying on his side in the water, his mouthpiece out of his mouth. Seymour began carrying Smith back to Aquarius, but his air umbilical became fouled about thirty yards from the habitat. Dodd carried Smith the rest of the distance to Aquarius, where the other divers in the habitat helped them get Smith inside. Resuscitation attempts by Dodd, Seymour, and two Navy physicians who dove to the habitat were unsuccessful. Smith was pronounced dead at 3:25 pm by a Navy doctor. His death was the first associated with the Aquarius program.[3][4][10]

A subsequent investigation by a panel of outside experts determined that Smith's death was caused by a combination of three factors: the failure of the electronic functions of his Inspiration closed circuit rebreather (CCR) due to hydrodynamic forces from the hydraulic impact hammer being used nearby, Smith's inattention to his handset and head up displays, and the other two divers allowing Smith to return to Aquarius alone. The investigation concluded that due to these issues Smith became unconscious from hypoxia and drowned when the mouthpiece came out of his mouth. Saturation and CCR diving at Aquarius were suspended in the wake of Smith's death, but the review board recommended that they be resumed with the implementation of additional safety measures.[5]

Tributes Edit

Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Wikipedia:Brian Baird recognized Smith's service on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.[12] U.S. Representative Wikipedia:Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, whose district includes the Wikipedia:Florida Keys and who had met Smith during a visit to the Aquarius facility, also offered a statement of condolence.[3][16][17]

File:NEEMO 13 crew with hab techs.jpg

On May 15, 2009, at a panel at International Space Medicine Summit III devoted to human performance in analog environments, Wikipedia:astronaut-aquanaut Wikipedia:Dafydd Williams, who had participated in two NEEMO missions, asked for a moment of silence in Smith's memory.[18] Aquarius donated a Superlite 17 Wikipedia:diving helmet, the helmet most frequently worn by Aquarius aquanauts, to the Wikipedia:History of Diving Museum in Wikipedia:Islamorada, Wikipedia:Florida in memory of Smith.[19]

Personal life Edit

Smith was a Wikipedia:triathlete.[20] He enjoyed playing the drums, tennis, exercising and movies.[6] He was survived by his parents, stepfather, sister and uncle, among others.[2][7][10]

References Edit

  1. "Dewey Dewayne Smith Obituary - Key Largo, Florida -". Tributes, Inc. May 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The United States Navy Experimental Diving Unit (May 6, 2009). "The United States Navy Experimental Diving Unit: Dewey Smith Aquanaut". Wikipedia:Google. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Silk, Robert (May 9, 2009). "Aquarius diver's death remains a question". Cooke Communications. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hellwarth, Ben (2012). "Sealab: America's Forgotten Quest to Live and Work on the Ocean Floor". New York: Wikipedia:Simon & Schuster. pp. 260–261. Template:Citation/identifier. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "External Review Board Report of Findings and Recommendations" (PDF). Wikipedia:American Academy of Underwater Sciences. August 27, 2009. pp. 1–2, 18–22. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Smith, Dewey (November 2008). "Aquanaut Profiles - Mission & Project Info - NOAA's Aquarius Reef Base". Wikipedia:University of North Carolina Wilmington. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Dewey Dewayne Smith Obituary: View Dewey Smith's Obituary by Panama City News Herald". May 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  8. "In Memoriam". Wikipedia:Florida State University. September 2009. 12. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  9. "Meet Our Staff". RME-Diver Commercial Diving LLC. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Dewey Smith, Research Diver at Aquarius, Passed Away Tuesday, May 5 - University of North Carolina Wilmington". University of North Carolina Wilmington. May 6, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  11. Tomlin Middle School; Smith, Dewey. "Ask an Aquanaut: Size of Aquarius". Wikipedia:National Undersea Research Center. Retrieved March 27, 2012. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Baird, Brian (May 7, 2009). "Honoring Dewey Smith". Wikipedia:Government Printing Office. H5375. Retrieved March 27, 2012. 
  13. "Vigilance Under the Sea". Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  14. Topside Team (August 8, 2007). "NEEMO 13 Topside Report - Training Week". NURC. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  15. Wikipedia:National Aeronautics and Space Administration (August 14, 2007). "Photo-jsc2007e042251". NASA. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  16. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (May 5, 2009). "Ros-Lehtinen Comments On The Passing Of Aquarius Diver Dewey Smith". Wikipedia:United States House of Representatives. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  17. "No cause yet for NOAA diver's death". May 10, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  18. "International Space Medicine Summit III Executive Summary". Wikipedia:James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Wikipedia:Rice University. February 2010. pp. 1, 5, 43, 46. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  19. Erin (October 11, 2011). "Dive into History: The History of Diving Museum Collections Blog: Remembering an Aquanaut: Dewey D. Smith". Wikipedia:Google. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  20. Hellwarth, p. 261.

External links Edit


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