Diving equipment problems suspected in death of former Mountie

BRETON — A recently retired RCMP officer who was an experienced scuba diver has died while recreational diving in an Alberta lake.

BRETON — A recently retired RCMP officer who was an experienced scuba diver has died while recreational diving in an Alberta lake.

Mounties say the former officer, identified as Russell Gillespie, was diving with another man when he failed to surface Saturday in Twin Lakes, about 115 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

Sgt. Shawn Lemay, an RCMP spokesman, says it’s possible Gillespie encountered equipment problems before he died.

Police were called to the scene and initial attempts to find him were unsuccessful, but an RCMP dive team along with civilian rescuers eventually found Gillespie’s body Sunday afternoon.

Lemay says Gillespie most recently worked with the RCMP’s K Division.

The west lake at Twin Lakes is a well-known scuba diving attraction because of the clarity of the water and the depth of the lake.