25 January 2006

Autopsy confirms: Body in river was area diver

Autopsy results have confirmed that the remains of a man found in the St. Lawrence River over the weekend are those of a Rochester man who disappeared while diving in the river nearly 25 years ago.

State Police Investigator Michael Marvin said an autopsy performed yesterday confirmed the remains were those of Brett Schirmer, 21 at the time of his death, who disappeared near the Thousand Islands Bridge in August 1981. He was diving with John Mott, also of Rochester, in a search for a ship that was sunk by pirates during the War of 1812.

Recreational divers discovered Schirmer's remains and some diving equipment — covered with soot and zebra mussels — Sunday in the narrows between Wellesley Island and the American bank, about 20 miles north of Watertown. The remains were on the river's floor, about 140 feet down.

Schirmer, a graduate of Charlotte High School and a Navy veteran, was diving with Mott, a co-worker, when he disappeared.

Mott told the Democrat and Chronicle and Times-Union in 1981 that he and Schirmer had been diving in about 125 feet of water when Schirmer signaled that he wanted to surface.

During the ascent, Mott said Schirmer appeared to go limp and Mott let go of him when he tried to inflate an emergency vest.

"I tried to get him to the surface, but I could not," Mott had told the Times-Union.

He said Schirmer was carried away by a strong current.

Source: www.scubawire.com

Original Article: www.democratandchronicle.com


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