Navy Diver 3rd Class (DV) Robert Dotzler, 24, died June 19 during pierside diving operations in Guam. (Photo submitted to Door County (Wis.) Advocate)
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The June 19 death of a Guam-based diver was ruled accidental by Navy investigators, the service announced Thursday.
Navy Diver 3rd Class (DV) Robert Dotzler drowned while free diving during a dive operation at Alpha Pier on Navy Base Guam, the release said. He was assigned to the submarine tender Frank Cable.
In his endorsement of the investigation, the sub tender’s commanding officer, Capt. Nelson Hildreth, called Dotzler a “dedicated sailor” who “served his country with pride and performed admirable work,” according to the Navy news release.
Dotzler, 24, was observing other divers from the water’s surface in a “snorkeling-like role” at the time of the incident, Navy officials said shortly after his death. When the other divers surfaced, they noticed Dotzler was missing and located him at the bottom of the harbor, unconscious. He was later pronounced dead at Naval Hospital Guam.
Dotzler lived most of his life in Wisconsin, but was living with an uncle in California looking for work when he joined the Navy in March 2011, according to Wisconsin media reports. He reported to the Frank Cable in December of that year, Navy records show.