OFF THE COAST OF KONA, Hawaii (NBC/KHNL) — A scuba diver is assaulted 50 feet under water, and it’s all caught on camera.
Taken off the Kona Coast last Thursday, the video shows one diver allegedly ripping off the air supply of another diver. That incident is now under investigation by authorities.
The dive turned ugly when one diver darts over and rips off 53-year-old Rene Umberger’s breathing supply 50 feet under water. The scene was captured on two cameras.
“This man needs to be arrested,” said Umberger. “I think this man needs to be arrested immediately for attempted murder.”
Umberger was eventually able to get her regulator back in and breathe again. That’s when she captured the suspect make another threatening gesture.
“I honestly thought he was coming back for a second attack,” said Umberger.
Umberger and the others were documenting damage to coral reefs when they came across the pair of divers — who clearly didn’t want their picture taken.
She credits her experience and more than 10,000 dives with saving her life.
“An inexperienced diver would likely panic — either panic from the stress of the situation — and shoot for the surface,” said Umberger. “They may panic because their air source is missing and they can’t find it. Those incidents often lead to death.”
She believes she knows who the suspect is and wants to press charges.
The State Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement says it is investigating and will turn its information over to the County Prosecutor’s Office.
“The greater issue is that Hawaii’s reefs are being emptied by these commercial operations,” said Umberger. “Hawaii’s reefs are suffering incredibly from this unlimited collection.”
And the video shows how aggressive people can be.