Friends, colleagues mourn Kildeer couple involved in deadly scuba dive

Updated 6/30/2019 5:35 PM

Friends, co-workers and members of the diving community are mourning a Kildeer couple involved in a fatal dive Friday off Lake Michigan near Milwaukee.

Authorities say Susan Winn, 53, was pronounced dead Friday after she surfaced unresponsive about 17 miles from Milwaukee. Her husband, 53-year-old James Winn, remains missing, but is presumed dead, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.


The search for James Winn was suspended Saturday and authorities did not respond to further inquiries Sunday.

Mike Pedersen, owner of Dive Right In Scuba in Plainfield and Double Action Dive Charters in Hammond, Indiana, described the couple Sunday as "great divers and great friends."

"It's a horrible situation and we feel a tremendous loss in our dive community and our hearts," Pedersen said. "We give all we can of our thoughts and prayers to the family right now."

The couple detailed some of their diving adventures on social media, including James Winn's YouTube channel, where two weeks ago he uploaded video of a dive near a Lake Michigan shipwreck. Another video of their first dive of the season at the Emba shipwreck near Milwaukee was posted in late May.

Susan Winn was director of insurance for Illinois for FirstService Residential, formerly Lieberman Management Services.

"We're devastated and heartbroken over the loss of our colleague and friend," said Carla Kennedy, a colleague at the financial firm. "Susan was a very valued member of our team. I worked closely with her for over 10 years. She was just a wonderful contributor to our organization, and we will all miss her very much."

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Kennedy said the Winns traveled around the world to scuba dive.

"She and her husband both were very experienced scuba divers, and Susan is a very bright, capable person and, I'm confident she took safety precautions very seriously as a diver. That's what makes this particularly shocking," she said.

Authorities say crews in boats and a helicopter spent 20 hours searching 237 square miles before suspending operations Saturday. There were no reports Sunday about whether or when a search would resume.

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