Thursday, July 22, 2010

R.I.P. ~ Wes Skiles

Some tragic news came over the internet today stating that professional  underwater photographer, Wes Skiles, 52, died yesterday during an ocean dive while working on assignment for the famed National Geographic Society.

The facts are sketchy at this point other than it has been reported that Skiles had signaled other divers near the end of the dive that he was surfacing after his camera ran out of film while filming underwater.  He was later found motionless on the the seafloor by team members around 3 p.m. ET, near West Palm Beach, Fla. Wes was later pronounced dead by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

A statement released by the National Geographic Society said:

"National Geographic has learned of the tragic death of Wes Skiles, the highly accomplished underwater photographer, cinematographer and explorer with whom we've worked frequently. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident, which occurred following the conclusion of a scientific research expedition related to marine life off the east coast of Florida. Our thoughts are with Wes' family."

I had the opportunity to meet Wes many years ago at a dive show and he was friendly, exuberant and very gracious.  The diving community will miss his artistry as Skiles was one of those diving pioneers who always seemed to be pushing the boundaries in both undersea and cave diving exploration. 

We extend our sincere condolences to his family, and his very many friends & close associates around the world. 


spohrer said...

Thank you, Jeff for your well thought words about Wes. He was indeed that and from a sister perspective so much more. His work in my classroom, for the school district, and for the Florida Springs Task Force were most impressive. My hope is to have a set of his Water's Journey's videos be a part of every middle school library.

Shirley Skiles Spohrer

spohrer said...

Second attempt. Thank you for your well thought comments about Wes. He was amazing...My appreciation was for the hours he spent in my classroom,,,School board television shows, and Water's Journey...My hopes is that we can have it placed in every middle school library.

Shirley Skiles Spohrer