The Navy divers knew it was a risky operation. The Aberdeen “super pond” was deep enough to hold a 14-story building. Its water was black and cold. And the bottom was a tangle of muck and debris.
An Army diver had died there a month earlier. And now, with some crucial equipment broken, James E. Reyher said Ryan Harris had to make the dive with scuba gear, and little margin for error.
Even for a quick “bounce” dive, scuba tanks would give them only about 11 minutes of air to go down 150 feet and get back up. It was only a training evaluation, but no Navy scuba dive had gone below 130 feet in years.
The two men were asked if they wanted to make...