Two Die While Scuba Diving In Jamestown Mine

JAMESTOWN, Calif. (CBS13) — A scuba diving trip to an old mine in Tuolumne County led to the deaths of two men over the weekend, authorities said.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department said four friends went diving at the closed mining pit off Harvard Mine Road on Saturday afternoon. One of the men, identified as 37-year-old Jamie Pollard, a Stockton resident, suddenly started struggling underwater for unknown reasons.

One of the other divers, 41-year-old Cameron Wheeler, helped bring Pollard to the surface and called for help from authorities. Pollard appeared to be fine, but was pronounced dead sometime later after being rushed to the hospital.

Wheeler went back into the water to search for another diver, 34-year-old Lodi resident Dale Allen Dedic, who was last seen at a depth of 130 feet. When Dedic was not found at depth or at the surface, Wheeler called authorities.

The Army Corps of Engineers used special equipment Monday to search for the missing diver and found Dedic’s body at a depth of about 135 feet. Officials are still trying to recover the body.

The causes of the victims’ deaths have not been determined.

The Harvard pit was one of several sites in the area that yielded more than 660,000 ounces of gold during mining efforts between 1986 and 1994. After the mine closed, water runoff rapidly filled the pit.

A brother of one of the victims said the four men were experienced divers who had permission from the property owner to practice in the clear, still waters.

A report from the U.S. Geological Survey in the late 1990s showed that an unsafe amount of arsenic and other toxic chemicals has been found in the water.

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One Comment

  1. Brandon says:

    Stupid is as stupid does thats pretty rude when two people already paid the price

  2. Misty says:

    I personally know one of the families and I am sure the two minor children nor wife would find in comfort in negative comments. Please be respectful these are innocent families mourning the loss of loved ones. If you have nothing positive to say keep your comments to yourself.

  3. Me says:

    ‘you will never do anything great if you think you’re going to die’ RIP

    1. David Howard says:

      You’ll never do anything stupid either. Incidentally, I’m a gold mine owner.

  4. Frank says:

    Carol,

    How about a little compassion for the grieving…..

    its not always about lawyering up. This is what is wrong with this society, anything happens, lawyer up!

    A friend was hit by a car and killed running back to his car during a club sporting run. While the automatic impulse was to await a letter or call from a lawyer, the daughter wrote the most moving letter to our club, thanking us for bringing the two of them closer as she joined the club to be with him. He died of an unfortunate accident. Accidents happen.

    Let the grieving grieve their loss before point fingers and casting blame.

    No one dives to die. Dive rescue teams do it because they understand the risks and love the sport. Accidents happen.

    (I am not from the area and dont know any details, just tired of people automatically jumping to blame and lawyer up….

  5. Megan butler says:

    Jamie we all miss you dearly and you were a great coach and a great person.😥

  6. robin says:

    to the person who says shed be at the lawyers on monday
    these were adults not children who made the decision to go
    you dont know if the mine was sealed or if there are still chemicals there
    so are you bored or just uneducated
    buy some books or even newspaper and read them every day it really will bring up your level of intelligents
    the real point here is these families are suffering
    letting them know that you care and that youve been through that would be the most important thing that you could do here

  7. Tina Hamilton says:

    What a callous thing to say.

  8. Marcus says:

    Some of you are incredibly heartless and stupid.

    2 men died doing something they loved.

    Show a little respect for their families.

  9. zilla says:

    who is to say chemicals had anything to do with it! 130 feet is deep for a recreational diver at sea level, let alone at 1500 feet or so. who is to say what happened,but a buddy probably tried to save a buddy and something went tragically wrong. have some compassion till the facts come out. We don’t all survive our adventures but at least they got of the couch and had one.

  10. Jeff Houle says:

    My heart goes out to Jamie and Dale.Dale was always ready to help anyone.A great diver.He will be missed in the diving community.J.P.s Dive Service.

  11. just me says:

    Deadly chemicals in the water no doubt, my brother was always up in the mountains diving for gold, we were always afraid he would die doing what he enjoyed so much but he didn’t and he did find gold at times enough to pay for his expensive hobby. I pray for comfort for their families, terrible loss.

  12. Renee' says:

    Just to clarify, Both Divers were certified, …. One was a certified Scuba Diving Assistant Instructor and the other was a Advanced/Rescue certified diver…Who have been diving for years….and logged hundreds of dives all over the world, including more then 20 at this specific Dive location…They were very safe divers…always concerned with other divers safety and well being….. They lost their lives due to an accident…

  13. Renee' says:

    I knew both Jamie and Dale…both great friends and divers….I personally dove the mine and did not suffer from any levels of arsenic…
    Also, these divers weren’t looking for gold, silver, or any precious stones…just a place to dive that had awesome visibility.

  14. Misty says:

    Sundown Little League had a moment of silence for Jamie yesterday. I was sadened to hear this had happened. My heart and prayers go out to his family and friends.

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