Blackout led to teacher's drowning
Punahou School teacher Jeremiah Johnson lost consciousness and drowned off Lanai during a school-sponsored boat excursion, according to the Maui County medical examiner.
Johnson, 36, an experienced waterman, died Sunday while diving without an oxygen tank about 120 yards from Shark-Fin Rock. He was on an excursion with 13 other adults and 98 Punahou School students.
Maui County Medical Examiner Dr. Anthony Manoukian, who performed the autopsy yesterday, said Johnson "blacked out" as he was approaching the water's surface from a depth of 40 feet.
His body sank to the bottom of the ocean floor, where rescue divers aboard the vessel, Rapture, recovered his body at a depth of 95 feet.
Johnson seemed to be in excellent health, Manoukian said. Drugs and alcohol were not factors.
Johnson is survived by wife Sara Simmons, daughter Kirra, father Steve, mother Sandy, sister Lara Melissa and grandmother Nora.
A service for Johnson is scheduled for 6 p.m. today at the Punahou School Chapel. Aloha attire is requested. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support an educational fund for Johnson's daughter.
Checks may be made out to Sara Simmons. Donations can either be brought to the chapel or mailed to P.O. Box 11024, Honolulu 96828-0024.