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Serviceman drowns of Ikei Island

Date Posted: 2003-02-22

An Amercan serviceman drowned while scuba diving off the coast of Ikei Island Monday. Police say that the body of Sgt. Aaron Roepke, 24, was found Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators say that Roepke had gone diving with two of his friends. While exploring some underwater caves at the very popular diving spot, Roepke’s two buddies suddenly realized that they had lost sight of him.

As they could not find him they alerted local authorities that organized a rescue effort that continued next day when over 100 officials and volunteers including American service members took part in the search. They finally found Roepke’s body in the bottom of a cave. Rescuers said that the search was very difficult as there is a lot of loose silt in the area caves that reduce the visibility to near zero.

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