Diver's body recovered after 30 hours of rescue efforts

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

GARRISON, TX (KTRE) - It was a difficult work environment. Murky water, low visibility and an intense suction. "It was a lot of unknowns," said Tom Bush, leader of the Nacogdoches County Dive Team.

The body of 64-year-old Larry Coach of Dallas was lodged in a 24-inch pipe. For two days rescuers worked to bring his body to the shore. It was not easy, the water pressure was relentlessly holding Coach inside the pipe.

"We figured out the BCD, Bouncy Control Device, regulator and tank was hung-up inside the hole with him, so I took that off and when I did that it freed him," said Bush.

It was a team effort, technology was brought in. Video cameras were used to pin-point Coach's location. "That should be him right there, you're up against something, that should be him right there, can you back up just a little more," said a rescue diver.

Rescue divers faced the exact conditions that took Coach's life. "We were tethered, the suction was trying to suck the poles out of our hand," said Taylor Jones, Nacogdoches County Rescue diver. "It was very dangerous to go anywhere near that drain."

There was a need to equalize the pressure. They cut off the flow of the water on the pipe's other end. "When we finally got the flow of the water shut-off it became a little easier, a lot easier, but with the flow of that water it was very hard...scary," said Bush.

The dedicated rescuers were not giving up until the job was done. Larry Coach's body will be transported to Dallas for funeral arrangements. At this point, it is uncertain if another diver will be sent to clear the clogged drainage pipe.