KENT CITY, Mich. (WOOD) - Friends of a man who died after a scuba diving accident gathered Sunday in Kent City to reflect on his life.
Robert Shoemaker, 29, was diving with two friends near the Sixth Street Dam in Grand Rapids Saturday when he got stuck in the water, police say. He was rescued by the fire department and taken to a Grand Rapids hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Friends of Shoemaker told 24 Hour News 8 he was an experienced scuba diving instructor and a talk show host for a scuba diving show.
"We did ice diving together. He taught me all about the rope systems," said Johnny B. Allen.
"He was the one in charge. He'd be leading the group and he's the one that you'd go to if you found yourself having an issue," Cameron Mactavish said.
According to Shoemaker's friend Jim Norton, Shoemaker heard about a project that would remove the dam on the Grand River, and wanted to help survey the area.
"He was very interested in the whole project and he was doing what he could to help," Norton said.
Friends told 24 Hour News 8 that they will continue to dive because that is what Shoemaker would want them to do.
"He'd be diving right now if he could. I can guarantee that," Mactavish said.
His friends wanted to emphasize that an accident of that nature does not normally happen when scuba diving.
"Most scuba diving is straight forward," Norton said.
Shoemaker as recalled as generous and charismatic.
"He was a good guy. He'd give you the shirt off his back," Norton said.
Watch Shoemaker scuba dive via YouTube:
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