On Saturday, July 13, a recreational SCUBA diver exploring the KAMLOOPS shipwreck at Isle Royale National Park was fatally injured in a diving accident. Lloyd W. Krohn, 55, of Wyoming, Minnesota, was diving in a party of three on a charter SCUBA trip to the park operated by Isle Royale Charters, Inc. At approximately 11:00 am EDT, soon after descending to their target depth, his two partners noticed that Krohn was experiencing an unknown difficulty. They attempted to assist him but were forced to send him to the surface alone after he became unconscious. He was spotted by the boat crew and was brought aboard unresponsive and not breathing.
Park rangers responded to the incident after receiving a distress call on marine band radio from the charter company vessel Lake Superior Diver. The victim was declared deceased on scene by ranger-EMT’s. Rangers are currently working with the Keweenaw County Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death and to investigate the circumstances of the accident.
Park Superintendent Phyllis Green has temporarily closed the KAMLOOPS to diving. “We are deeply saddened by this SCUBA accident” stated Green. “Divers understand the risks involved in diving at such extreme depths, but accidents can happen. We will do a thorough examination of the accident and review operations at the site before opening it to further recreational diving.”
The KAMLOOPS is considered an expert dive due to the depths involved; most of the wreck lies below 200 feet. It is located approximately 300 feet from the north shore of Isle Royale near Todd Harbor. The ship, a 250 foot Canadian package freighter, wrecked in a severe storm in December, 1927. The location of the shipwreck was unknown until sport divers located the wreck in 1977.