A Palm Beach County jury has cleared diving equipment manufacturer Lamartek of wrongdoing in the 2010 drowning death of Wes Skiles, a renowned underwater photographer and cameraman, reports the Palm Beach Post. Skiles’s widow, Terri Skiles, filed suit in 2012 alleging that her husband had died because of faulty breathing apparatus manufactured by Lamartek. She claimed the Lamartek knew the apparatus—called the O2ptime FX rebreather—was prone to failure. She was seeking $25 million in compensation for her and the couple’s children. The death had been declared an accidental drowning by The Palm Beach County Medial Examiner in November 2010.
The lawsuit went to trial last week. Jurors found that Lamartek, which is also known as Dive Rite, was not responsible for Wes Skiles’s death. The jury also concluded the rebreather was not dangerous, according to The Palm Beach Post report.
Skiles was a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and National Geographic television. He grew up exploring the caves of northern Florida. National Geographic credits him with developing and refining a technique for using multiple strobes to dramatically light the underwater environment of caves.
South African photographer Sam Nzima, whose iconic photograph (right) from a Soweto uprising in 1976 helped turn world opinion against apartheid, died Saturday in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, according to press reports. He was 83. Nzima’s famous photograph showed a distraught 18-year-old named Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying the dead body of 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, a student... More ›
Photographer Barry O’Rourke, a past president of the Advertising Photographers of America and co-founder of The Stock Market stock photo agency, died April 17 in hospice care in Brookfield, Connecticut. The cause of death was complications from Alzheimer’s, according to his son, Randy. He was 84. Born James Barry O’Rourke in Providence, Rhode Island, 1933,... More ›
Photographer Nitin Vadukul, who created surreal and eerie images for commercial, editorial and music clients, died February 17 in New York City, according to The New York Times. His brother, photographer Max Vadukul, told The Times the cause of death was colorectal cancer. Born Nitin Shantilal Vadukul in Nairobi in 1965 to parents of Indian... More ›