Video: Diver rips regulator out of another diver's mouth

By Pete Caggiano, pcaggiano@kitv.com
Published On: May 12 2014 07:54:25 PM HST
Updated On: May 13 2014 07:21:05 AM HST

KITV4 has video of what witnesses say is a rare human on human attack among divers. KITV4's Pete Caggiano has has more on this underwater confrontation that gets heated.

HONOLULU -

An underwater rumble on the reef. KITV4 has video of what witnesses say is a rare attack among divers.

Click here to watch Pete Caggiano's story.

"One of them looked up and seemed to snap and rip the regulator out of her mouth," said Robert Whitner, who was diving along with Rene Umberger, the alleged victim of the attack.

They were diving off Keawaiki Bay when there was a sudden commotion underwater as another diver who was collecting aquarium fish allegedly attacked Rene Umberger who was filming the fish collectors.

Whitner said the attack was unprovoked. The crew was watching over the reef and captured activities of the fish collectors.

"Our objective is to document the conditions of the reef to see if our effort will see improvement in coming years," said Whitner.

Diver Mike Long saw the incident, too. He says the two divers were collecting aquarium fish, and apparently didn't want an audience. "Once they knew they were being filmed they were startled and immediate reaction was to bullrush the diver" said Long.

Umberger made it to the surface safely. But Tamyrnn Clegg from Aaron's Dive Shop says this easily could have ended differently. "A regulator acts as your life support equipment, it's what is giving you air supply from the tank. So that being missing from her mouth is going to keep her from breathing," said Clegg.

Fish collectors and reef protectors have been at odds for a long time. It's a relationship that gets more and more contentious, despite new state laws.

There is no word on whether charges will be filed in the incident. The Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating.

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