• July 22, 2014

Morgan’s Point dive team recovers construction worker’s body in Waco

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Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 4:30 am

When the Morgan’s Point Resort dive team receives a call for assistance in a drowning, its objective is to get a victim back for the family.

On Tuesday, members traveled to Waco to help find the body of a man who fell into the Brazos River while working on a construction project, said Fred Churchill, Morgan’s Point police chief and dive team spokesman.

Texas Parks & Wildlife game wardens put the dive team on notice and a few minutes later, the Waco Fire Department fire chief requested assistance.

Divers recovered the body of 55-year-old Jose Dario Suarez, of Manor, about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.

A second worker swam to safety and was taken to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia. He was later released.

Churchill said the divers used a construction site as a staging area. Representatives from the fire department and Waco Police Department were assigned to the dive team to get them whatever they needed.

Suarez reportedly fell with a crane boom at the construction site of a pedestrian bridge that will connect Baylor University to its new football stadium.

“The two teams of divers, with two divers on each team, were supported by two other team members who stayed on shore. They surveyed the area and located the boom that had fallen,” Churchill said.

Churchill said it was dark when the dive team arrived and divers had to work their way through the extremely cold, dark and muddy water.

“They had to do everything by feel. They found him. He was still tethered (to the crane boom). They released him and brought him up,” Churchill said.

The extreme cold was lessened somewhat for the divers by a tent set up by the water with a heater inside it. Although the divers in dry suits and were in the water less than five minutes, Churchill said it was still very cold.

The team trains year-round in all kinds of weather.

“It’s good to have support from so many different areas. That enables us to have the equipment and the training we need.”

“We got the victim back for his family. We’re just glad we could do that,” Churchill said.

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