SALT LAKE CITY — The parents of a Las Vegas boy who drowned while scuba diving at a Scout camp have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America.
David Christopher Tuvell died last July while participating in a Discover Scuba program at the Bear Lake Aquatics Base in northern Utah.
The 12-year-old boy was diving with an instructor and two other Scouts in about 15 feet of water when he disappeared, according to news reports. He was found after a 30-minute search. Troop leaders performed CPR before paramedics arrived and transported him to a Logan hospital where he was pronounced dead. His father was also at the camp but did not go on the diving excursion.
In their lawsuit, Christopher and Sherry Tuvell allege the instructor failed to supervise their son's air supply, "abandoned" him and failed to "aid and rescue" him when an emergency situation arose. The suit also claims instructors provided the boy defective equipment and inadequate training.
As a result, Tuvell experienced "great physical agony, pain and suffering in the knowledge of impending death, emotional distress … as well as the knowledge that he would never see his mother, father and brother again."
Reached at home in Nevada, the boy's grandmother said the family did not want to comment until the case is settled.
Kay Godfrey, spokesman of Great Salt Lake Council to which the Bear Lake camp belongs, attended the boy's funeral.
"It was very moving and very sad," he said. "It's a real tragedy."
Godfrey said he couldn't comment on the lawsuit and referred questions to BSA's headquarters in Dallas. The national office did not return phone calls Friday afternoon.
In addition to the BSA, the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court names as defendants the Professional Association of Dive Instructors, Blue Water Scuba, instructors Corbett Douglas and Lowell Huber and the Bear Lake camp.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount for general, compensatory and punitive damages.