NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

Local News

May 16, 2014

Diving victim recalled as veteran, husband, dad

Authorities are still awaiting a finding as to what caused the death of Gregg O’Brien, the 37-year-old Everett resident who died while diving with a group off Gloucester’s Stage Fort Park last Saturday.

But while mourning his loss, family members and friends are also sharing their fond memories and exchanging expressions of support.

Siobhan O’Brien, the victim’s widow, told the Times that her husband had served in the Army, fighting in Afghanistan from 2008 through 2009 as a Humvee driver. In that deployment, he was eventually declared 100 percent disabled after a knee injury.

The couple was ready to celebrate their 10-year anniversary this year and had planned to rent a cabin in Tennessee, where they have stayed before.

“Gregg was an amazing husband, an amazing father,” O’Brien said. The veteran also left behind two daughters, 7-year-old Alanna and 1-year-old Loralei.

O’Brien said her husband loved the outdoors, from skiing, jet skiing and camping with the family to scuba diving. He was involved with many veteran efforts. He was also a full-time nursing student at Bunker Hill Community College and had made the dean’s list last semester.

Gregg O’Brien was recently certified as a scuba diver through an organization called Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS), based in Puerto Rico. That’s where he fell in love with diving, his wife said.

She said it’s important that people realize that he was no inexperienced newcomer to the water.

“He really, really loved scuba diving, and he was trying to get veterans involved,” she said.

O’Brien was pronounced dead at Addison Gilbert Hospital Saturday at 2:20 p.m. after experiencing what authorities have called some type of “medical emergency.” He surfaced once, crying out for help, but he did not come up a second time as diving colleagues rushed toward him.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Special Features