Scuba diving assault caught on camera off Kona Coast - KCTV5

Scuba diving assault caught on camera off Kona Coast

Posted: Updated:
KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

An assault is caught on camera 50 feet underwater. The video shows one diver ripping off the air supply of another diver. Now authorities are investigating.

Environmentalists and reef fish collectors have had disputes in the past, but this one may have crossed over into criminal action with one party calling for serious charges to be filed.

The video was taken off the Kona Coast last Thursday. The dive turned ugly when one diver darts over and rips off Rene Umberger's breathing supply 50 feet underwater. The scene was captured on two cameras.

"This man needs to be arrested. I think this man needs to be arrested immediately for attempted murder," said Rene Umberger, coral reef consultant and scuba diver.

Umberger, 53, was eventually able to get her regulator back in and breathe again. That's when she captured the suspect make another threatening gesture with his arms toward her.

"I honestly thought he was coming back for a second attack," said Umberger. "I got up on the boat and I said oh my God, someone just tried to kill me underwater."

Umberger and the others were documenting damage to coral reefs when they came across the pair of divers who clearly didn't want their picture taken. She credits her experience and more than 10,000 dives with saving her life.

"An inexperienced diver would likely panic. Either panic from the stress of the situation and shoot for the surface. They may panic because their air source is missing and they can't find it. Any of those things causes a diver to shoot for the surface and those incidents often lead to death," said Umberger. "Never in a million years. Never in a million years did I think that someone would attack like that, especially from such a distance. It's not like we were close up or in their face."

She believes she knows who the suspect is and wants to press charges.

The State Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement says it is investigating and will turn its information over to the County Prosecutors office.

"The greater issue is that Hawaii's reefs are being emptied by these commercial operations," said Umberger. "Hawaii's reefs are suffering incredibly from this unlimited collection."

The video shows how aggressive people can be.

Collecting reef fish is legal if you have a permit and are in a designated area and meeting fish size, season and quantity rules. There's no word from the State if the suspect was diving legally.

To view more photos on a mobile device click here: http://bit.ly/1gxzKmG  

To watch the raw video of the 'attack' on a mobile device click on the 'Latest News Video' section on the Hawaii News Now app.

Related Link:

Follow Tim Sakahara:    

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved. 

  • Scuba diving assault caught on camera off Kona CoastMore>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Thursday, January 29 2015 11:44 PM EST2015-01-30 04:44:07 GMT
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language.More >
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language. More >
  • Judge clears courtroom after victims' family members yell at Tamika Pledger

    Judge clears courtroom after victims' family members yell at Tamika Pledger

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 5:36 PM EDT2017-05-24 21:36:53 GMT

    A woman charged with killing a teen and hurting three others took the stand Wednesday, and it caused chaos in a Wyandotte County courtroom.

    More >

    A woman charged with killing a teen and hurting three others took the stand Wednesday, and it caused chaos in a Wyandotte County courtroom.

    More >
  • School officials advise parents after Raytown students witness body hanging

    School officials advise parents after Raytown students witness body hanging

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:37 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:37:10 GMT

    While riding home from school on their bus, students from Raytown Middle School witnessed a body hanging.  School officials are telling parents in response to monitor their child's behavior.  Ruth Manu's grandchildren were heading for the front door when a police detective stopped them.  He alerted the family a body was found hanging just steps away. Police say the person committed suicide.  “I feel for the parent," Manu said. "I hope they ...

    More >

    While riding home from school on their bus, students from Raytown Middle School witnessed a body hanging.  School officials are telling parents in response to monitor their child's behavior.  Ruth Manu's grandchildren were heading for the front door when a police detective stopped them.  He alerted the family a body was found hanging just steps away. Police say the person committed suicide.  “I feel for the parent," Manu said. "I hope they ...

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.