Investigation Rules Sailor's Death was Accidental

SANTA RITA, Guam -- A command investigation into the death of a Guam-based U.S. Navy Sailor has determined the death to be the result of accidental drowning while free diving.   Navy Diver 3rd Class Robert Dotzler, 22, of Kiel, Wis., was assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) when he died June 19 following a dive operation at Alpha Pier on U.S. Naval Base Guam. Dotzler was discovered unconscious in the water and was transported to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam where he was pronounced dead at 11:27 a.m.   Characterizing Dotzler's death as "tragic," the investigation concluded that his death was accidental and occurred in the line of duty.  

In concluding his endorsement of the investigation, Frank Cable's Commanding Officer, Capt. Nelson P. Hildreth characterized Dotzler as a "dedicated Sailor" who "served his country with pride and performed admirable work" during his time aboard.   Dotzler reported to Frank Cable in 2011. Prior to his assignment on Guam, he was stationed at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Florida. Earlier in his Navy career, Dotzler had been nominated for the Command Advancement Program, which recognizes stellar Sailors through meritorious advancement in rank.   Hildreth stated that Dotzler's "strong professional contribution to both Frank Cable's Dive Locker and the art of underwater husbandry will be sorely missed."

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