NAHANT (CBS) — One of the two divers pulled from the water off Nahant’s East Point Saturday afternoon has died, the Essex District Attorney’s office said Sunday morning.

Vinicius Vianna, 38 of Danvers, was pulled from the water just before 5 p.m. and died after being rushed to Salem Hospital.

The second diver, a 42-year-old man from Bedford, was also hospitalized with exhaustion.

The two men were free diving for lobsters off of 40 Steps beach when one of them ran into trouble with air. A woman called to report an unresponsive scuba diver in the water around 4:43 p.m.

A boater saw the men and managed to get one into his boat while keeping the other one from drowning.

“An unconscious diver who was tied alongside his boat and he had another diver exhausted inside his boat,” Nahant Harbormaster Rob Tibbo said of the scene on the water.

“One was having trouble with his snorkel, so he was trying to switch back to his air tank,” Tibbo told WBZ. “Then he ran out of air, he switched to snorkel but was in distress. The other diver tried to switch him over but couldn’t. There was a lot of waves out there, it was rough.”

The Essex DA’s office said Vianna ran out of oxygen, and was pushed against some rocks by the current and swells while he was trying to return to the surface.

Tibbo and his men got both divers into their boat and took them to Tudor Wharf, where more first responders were ready.

“This police cruiser came flying down,” said witness Glenn Sanphy who was nearby.

With aspirations of becoming a police officer, the 13-year old keeps a scanner by his side. He ran down to the pier.

“They quickly off-loaded one gentleman who then they off-loaded onto the dock and they quickly started taking pulses,” Sanphy told WBZ.

First responders performed CPR on the other man.

Forty Steps beach is a popular access spot to the ocean. It’s well-known for diving and lobstering, but there are several rocks and rip currents. The harbormaster says every two or three years they receive a call like this.

“It’s always very traumatic,” said Tibbo.

It was a call that hit Sanphy a little harder than others he’s heard.

“It really hit close to home because I work on a lobster boat myself during the weekends,” he said. “To see something so close you don’t think it will happen.”

According to the Essex DA’s office, Vianna was an experienced and certified rescue diver. They said foul play is not suspected, and the matter is still investigation.



Comments (5)
  1. Stephen Guy says:

    This report is not clear. It first states the divers were free diving, which means no scuba/tanks, but then implies the divers did have tanks and one of them ran out of air. Or am I missing something here?

  2. Baba Gounj says:

    First reports are always lacking facts.
    Like another station reported that the US Coast Guard Harbor Master was part of the rescue, an error . That they still have not corrected.

  3. Dawn says:

    I am sick and tired of ignorant faux news agencies, Hollywood and stupid people saying scuba divers ran out of “oxygen” ! Scuba divers do not, recreationally, breathe Oxygen, they breathe AIR! The only time a recreational scuba diver breathes oxygen is (if) an 02 tank is hung at 15 ft for extra safety for his last stop, or a deep/tech diver after decompression stops or if they are injured and need medical oxygen!

    Further, a FREE DIVER is a BREATH HOLD DIVER! As opposed to a snorkeler who breathes out of a snorkel on the surface who can also do a free dive is they chose. A free diver does not have tanks, nor is a diver, without tanks using a hookah, a free diver.

  4. Capt.Charles Lusterman says:

    Please be advised IF the Diver was using SCUBA gear then the medium was compressed air .
    Please inform your reader of factual information,

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