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Tragedy Strikes as Children Drown in Scuba Tank Mishap After Breathing Helium

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In a heartbreaking incident, two children lost their lives on April 27, 2021, after using scuba tanks filled with helium instead of oxygen in a friend’s swimming pool. Suzie Dudas, the mother of the deceased children, Zale (nine) and Saxon (seven), recounted the horrifying details of the incident.

According to Suzie, her ex-husband had taken the children to a friend’s house on April 23, 2021. While playing in the pool, the children unknowingly used scuba tanks that were filled with 100% helium instead of the required oxygen. The absence of oxygen in the tanks led to the children losing consciousness while diving. When discovered by Suzie’s ex-husband, they were pulled from the pool, and resuscitation attempts were initiated.

Sea to Sky

Suzie, who was not present at the scene, received a distressing call from her ex-husband and rushed to the hospital. Despite extensive efforts by medical professionals, both Zale and Saxon succumbed to the incident on April 27, 2021.

The tragedy prompted an investigation by the Florida State Attorney’s Office. In May 2022, the office decided not to file charges, labeling it a “heartbreaking tragedy.” Suzie is now urging authorities to reopen the case, expressing disbelief over the lack of charges.

Suzie has been vocal about her grief and frustration, questioning why the scuba tanks were not properly checked. She is sharing her story on social media, using the handle @justiceforzaleandsaxon, and advocating for a renewed investigation.

Despite the devastating loss, Suzie has found solace in the support of her community, which rallied around her in the aftermath of the incident. In memory of Zale and Saxon, she has organized educational tours and a children’s summer camp, reflecting the positive impact her children had on the community.

Florida State Attorney, Thomas Bakkedahl, confirmed the exhaustive review of the case and stated that, based on legal research and facts, criminal charges could not be pursued. The decision was communicated to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and the children’s mother. Bakkedahl expressed sympathy for the family’s grief and emphasized the legal constraints preventing criminal prosecution in this instance.


La Galigo

About Author

Lee has been in the marketing industry for the last 15 years and now specializes in teaching marketing techniques to people in the scuba diving industry. He is founder of Dive Media Solutions which, in addition to providing complete marketing, media, communications and IT solutions exclusively for the scuba diving industry, also produces The Scuba News. You can connect with Lee via Twitter by following @DiveMedia

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