EL CENTRO — The Imperial Irrigation District diving team remains a hot item for the utility company even as the board voted to table the informational item of the August 6 regular meeting by 4–1 with Director Bruce Kuhn dissenting. Kuhn had asked for the general manager to look into compensating the widow and her children, and members of the dive team also asked for the unit to be reinstated at a previous meeting.
Despite the reinstatement of the dive team being tabled, several stepped up during public comments to address the reason for the suspension, the death of IID diver Jonny Burnworth while working underwater for the district. Burnworth passed away October 27 after an apparent heart attack while diving in the Ash Canal.
Marrisa Harmon, an El Centro resident, spoke about the two investigations of the dive team accident, one by OSHA and the other, an external one conducted by an outside legal team, Daley and Heff.
Harmon took the board to task for the delay in receiving OSHA’s report, saying she finally received a leaked copy from a reporter. She asked the board to release the second investigation. Harmon also praised the board for suspending the team until a full examination into the safety of the divers’ activities, mission, and effectiveness could be discerned.
Harmon’s main complaint was the board would vote on either continuing the suspension or restoring the dive team without the second report being made to the public.
None of the board members commented on the dive team’s future.