Okoboji scuba diver saved by instructor recalls act of heroism

Local News

On Thursday, Calvin Grosvenor was getting set to go on his first scuba dive without an instructor. He was to dive with Jesse Fletchall, a Missouri native who he had just met, and was also a fan of scuba.

Shortly after the two began their dive, things took a turn for the worse as Fletchall began to drown, and Grosvenor, had to act quickly to save his life.

About five minutes into their dive, Jesse Fletchall was feeling a bit off.

“I started feeling like a little vertigo type, which is kind of common in diving, but after that, I don’t remember much,” Jesse Fletchall said.

It turns out, Fletchall experienced a brain embolism, after a hole in his heart caused an air bubble to be sent to his brain.

“He was kind of seized up, he stiffened up, and he was starting to sink to the bottom, so I instantly turned around to check to see if he was ok, and when I realized he wasn’t, I reacted on both my instincts and my training,” Calvin Grosvenor said.

After bringing Fletchall to the surface, Grosvenor had to swim more than 100 yards to shore. Some construction workers helped him bring Fletchall onto a nearby dock. Grovsvenor began performing CPR while another woman called 911.

“When we got him onto the dock, he didn’t have a pulse, and he wasn’t breathing. But by the time the ambulance got here, he had a slight pulse, and he was starting to breathe on his own,” Grosvenor said.

Fletchall first went to a nearby hospital, and then taken to Avera in Sioux Falls, where he finally regained consciousness while in a hyperbaric chamber.

“He’s a hero. He saved my life. I’ll be forever in his debt. I cannot do enough for that young man,” Fletchall said.

After being discharged on Saturday, Fletchall drove straight to Okoboji, to show his gratitude to the young man who saved his life.

“This charm here, he had been using on every dive, he had taken it with him, and now I’m going to take it with me on every dive I go on,” Grosvenor said.

Fletchall will need surgery to repair his heart, but as soon as he’s recovered, he knows exactly what he’s doing.

“As soon as I can get that done, and able to dive again, I’m going to come right back up here, and we’re going to finish this dive,” Fletchall said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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