Another example of sacrificing yourself for your neighbor:
When Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Harris and Petty Officer 1st Class James Reyher descended to the murky depths of a pond at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., last year, virtually everything went wrong. Their equipment didn’t work right, the communication with sailors on the surface wasn’t clear, and debris trapped Reyher some 150 feet underwater in scuba gear.
But there’s more to the story. According to a report in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper on Sunday, Harris, 23, had the option to cut the line connecting him to Reyher underwater and survive. He refused to do it, though, doing everything in his power to free Reyher, 28, until both men died on Feb. 26, 2013.
“Harris exhausted himself in an attempt to save Reyher,” said a military investigator in documents obtained by the Virginian-Pilot. “Both divers resisted the natural instincts of self-preservation, in order to expel his last breaths in an effort to save each other.”
The men were with the Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2. Rescue divers tried twice to save them, but their bodies were lifeless when they were brought to the surface 31 minutes after they started their dive, the newspaper reported. The investigating officer determined that Harris, in particular, could have done a number of things to save himself, including using a backup breathing regulator to get to his reserve air, cutting the line between him and Reyher or trying to inflate their vests.
The story goes on to tell about those who are being disciplined and charged with dereliction of duty–including the Commanding Officer–for the unsafe conditions.