Soccer coach from California dies diving

| 09/12/2009

(CNS): Martin Linley, a 51-year-old soccer coach at Analy High in California, USA, has been named as the diver who died Monday 7 December, following an organised diving trip on the North Wall. Mr Linley was on vacation with his wife, Elizabeth, but during a dive he become unwell and then lost consciousness. The RCIPS Marine Unit attended the location and staff from both the Marine Unit and Resort Sports undertook CPR. The victim was conveyed by the RCIPS Marine Unit to the nearby Yacht Club and he was then transported by ambulance to George Town Hospital where he was found to be dead on arrival. (Photo: Press Democrat)

Police said the victim was a certified dive master who had been diving for many years, and that investigations into the death were ongoing.

In a tribute to Mr Linley in The Press Democrat, David Shaffer, the boys’ director of coaching for the Santa Rosa United soccer club, is quoted as saying, “Anybody in Sonoma County knew who he was and how passionate he was about soccer. He was just a real ambassador for the game because of how much he loved soccer.”

Cardinal Newman varsity soccer coach Paul Dixon, a close friend for more than 15 years, said Linley was an experienced diver and his death was “a great shock to us all.”

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  1. Peter Milburn says:

    Having been invloved in the diving industry for over 40 yrs.I ceratinly want to extend my condolences to Martins family in their sudden loss.

            I would like to point out to any critics of the dive industry that we do face several problems dealing with divers from all walks of life and in all shapes and sizes.Cayman is and always will be one of the safest dive destinations in the world and that shows how professional most( if not all) our dive instructors,guides are in all aspects of diving.One of the main problems we face is the honesty of that diver who WILL dive at any cost so does not truthfully answer his medical questions.We all take them at their word unless their is DEFINATE reason that we may suspect makes them a danger to us and to themselves.I have had divers lie about past operations(heart bypasses and other life threatning  ilnesses like asthma)I was forwarned by concerned friends that they would not tell me the truth and I then confronted them and they admitted there was a possible problem.When in doubt say NO.One last thing that makes most of us shy away from certain divers is their weight.I had a guy tell me he needed a 3xxx bcd and was just on 6′ and weighed over 300lbs.No matter how many dive guides you have on board that is one heavy dude to rescue and get back on board.

           In closing its better to tick your customer off and have them go home safely than to have them pass away due to their own negligence in not telling us the whole story re their health.

  2. Caymanian says:

    Deepest sympathies and condolences to the Linley Family, and all of his friends, by reading this and looking at his picture he looked like a great guy that would’ve had many friends! It’s always heartbreaking whenever i hear about someone passing on their vacation! I’m sure he’s in a better place..And he loved soccer, so im sure we would’ve been buddies! R.I.P

  3. Anonymous says:

    My experience as a former investigator of many sudden deaths involving persons who were diving in Cayman waters whether on scuba, snorkelling or free diving/swimming…….. about 92% of deaths are caused by personal health problems, 3% precent are due to "risk taking" (bounce dives), 2-3% are due to accidents (sudden ascend’s, vessels overturning in rough seas, rogue drivers, or divers/snorkellers hit by vessels whom did not display on the surface dive flags) and the balance of about 1-2% are suicide related. 

    The body experiences a "tremendous work out" while swimming/diving in the sea/ocean especilly when a sudden change of sea currents occur. This brings on panic, fatigue and untimately triggers drowning or a heart attack, where a medical condition may have been mis-diagnosed or unknown.

    Considering the tens of thousands of persons who dive each year in the Cayman Islands without an unfortunate incident, diving/swimming is very safe here. I would guess there are no more than a dozen sudden deaths (approx 1 per month) per year in the Cayman Islands.

    There is an old saying that I have always heard old Cayman Seafarers state, "The sea will either make you or break you"     

    Sincere condolences to the family and friends or this latest victim. God Bless them and comfort them in their time of loss and despair.  


  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to the family on their loss. Not in any way suggesting any issue on the part of the dive operator but it is ESSENTIAL that divers are assured that Cayman diving operations are safe and in fact have some of the highest standards of dive safety in the world. It would do well for the Department of Tourism to ensure that the organization responsible for the licensing and inspection of dive operations is (and remains) at the top of its game in regulating such operations. Also, as coroners inquests into all such deaths are conducted and findings published, it would do well for the DoT to ensure that such are given the same media exposure as the deaths themselves, because invariably, it has been revealed that the deceased divers’ own health or unsafe actions have caused their unfortunate deaths. Again, no aspersions against the diver in this case.

    Not saying that DoT should ‘regulate’ the dive operations regulators or ‘direct’ the coroner’s inquest releases but surely they should be involved in the dissemination of the resulting information, so as to ensure that the world is correctly informed about the standards and quality of our diving operations.