Blaise N. Gamba, an associate in the Tampa office of Carlton Fields, passed away this weekend from injuries sustained in a scuba diving accident. The accident also left her husband, William A. Gamba, in serious but stable condition.
The accident took place in the Gulf of Mexico, and the information released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office provides a few more details, as Law360 (sub req.) reports:
According to the report, another couple — a man and his wife fishing on their boat — were approached by William, who was driving a 22-foot Sea Fox boat. The couple was informed by William that he and his wife were having a medical emergency on their boat and that she was unconscious, according to officials.
As the individuals boarded William’s boat, help was called and William tried to resuscitate Blaise. Once the paramedics arrived, William lost consciousness due to a medical emergency, according to authorities.
“Deputies believe the injuries were related to a diving accident,” the report stated. “Diving equipment was located on William’s boat and both William and Blaise were wearing wet-suits at the time of the incident.”
The investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Going from conscious and functional to unconsciousness, as the husband did, some time after surfacing could be any of a number of things, but suggests the bends to us. Contrary to popular and film depictions, it’s not always instantaneous or immediate. By the time it sets in, if it’s bad, nothing but recompression will help (and permanent damage may already have been done).