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Forum staff reports, Published August 06 2012

Wife says scuba diving death caused by heart attack

VERGAS, Minn. — The wife of the man who died while scuba diving near here this weekend says he died of a heart attack.

James Reardon, 51, of Pierz died while diving Saturday afternoon.

According to a press release from Fire Academy North Dakota, Reardon was a photographer for the academy. On Saturday, Reardon and diving partner Darrell Graf were conducting a pre-drill in preparation for an upcoming training when Graf noticed Reardon was missing and called for help.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office said Reardon was found about 20 minutes after authorities arrived.

Sheriff Brian Schlueter said no problems were found with Reardon’s equipment.

Today, Graf said, Reardon’s wife, Michelle, notified the academy that his death was due to a massive heart attack. She said his lungs were found to be dry, so he did not drown.

A memorial fund has been set up for Reardon, a volunteer fire fighter at Wells Fargo Bank.

Memorials can be sent to Jim Reardon Memorial Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank at P.O. Box 5502, Bismarck, N.D., 58506-5502.