SAN DIEGO – A 29-year-old diver working for the Navy’s marine mammal program died Monday during an exercise with the Navy’s dolphins and sea lions in San Diego Bay.
The San Diego County medical examiner listed the death of Coll Perske of San Diego as “salt water drowning.” The Navy is investigating the Monday incident.
Perske was an employee of Science Applications International Corp., which has a contract with the Navy to train the mammals. Perske has worked with the mammals for more than five years, according to the company.
During the exercise, Perske “failed to resurface and his coworkers assisted him to the surface,” according to the medical examiner. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. Death was pronounced at the UC San Diego Medical Center.