Police chief dies on holiday while scuba diving off Catalina Island
Updated On: Jul 30, 2007
Police chief dies on holiday while scuba diving off Catalina Island Powered by CDNN - CYBER DIVER News Network by YVONNE MILLER
CATALINA ISLAND, California (26 July 2007) -- What was a highly anticipated vacation cruise/family reunion for the Farneys transformed into a sea of sadness for the family of Kiowa, Kansas Police Chief Rex Miner.
Over 60 members of the family had flown to San Diego and were cruising with a stop at Catalina Island on their way to Mexico. Certified scuba divers, Rex and his grown daughter April scheduled a dive the morning of July 18. Kiowa woman Jenny Farney, a niece of Rex, shared information about what happened that morning.
Several family members took a ferry from the cruise ship to Catalina Island for fun in the sun. Rex and April had an hour and a half wait until their 11 a.m. dive. April told Jenny she and her dad had a Coke and relaxed. With their scuba gear on the two got in the water. April told Jenny her dad had some type of minor malfunction with his gear and swam over to take care of it. As he reached the dock Rex got up a couple steps and then collapsed with his feet still in the water.
April performed CPR on her dad with no results which "was so hard for her," Jenny said. An emergency crew took over shortly thereafter and could not revive him either.
Tom and Gay Farney were having coffee nearby, heard the sirens and returned to the scuba site to find it was their family involved. They were able to be there with April.
In the meantime Rex's wife Kathleen (Kathy as the family calls her) was on a tour with Jenny and others seeing the island and the beautiful Botanical Gardens. When they returned they were told Rex had a heart attack and Kathy was taken to the hospital, not realizing he was already gone. Jenny said although the exact cause of death was not determined, a heart attack is suspected.
In shock the family remained on the cruise. Kathy said her family was there with her and that's where she wanted to be. Rex's body had to remain there for the seemingly endless paperwork. The family returned home this past weekend.
As of Tuesday morning, Jenny said Rex's body remained in LA. The funeral is scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. at Kiowa's United Methodist Church. However, if there are delays in transportation, the funeral won't be until Saturday. "Things are still uncertain," Jenny said.
She said the Farneys agreed that at least Rex died having a wonderful time with his family. "I had just been visiting with Rex," Jenny recalled. "I would have never thought our last conversation would be about sunburns."
"I'm so glad he was with his daughter, his pride and joy."