‘Stay alive don’t dive’ | Families held signs chanting at institute where two students drowned


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CDA Technical Institute is currently being audited by a trade organization that oversees the schools. Two men drowned there in separate incidents.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Families gathered outside of a diving school here on the first coast with signs saying stay alive don’t dive.

CDA Technical Institute is currently being audited by a trade organization that oversees the schools, after two students tragically died in separate incidents just this year.

“We want to keep everybody knowing what’s going on at the school. They need to know that my brother died her son died and they just need to know,” said Amanda Fulton. 

Fulton’s brother, 34-year-old Victor Pierce Jr. drowned during a class at CDA in February and according to a police report alcohol was a contributing factor.

And In April, 41-year-old Fausto Martins also drowned in  dive training at the school. He complained of water in his helmet beforehand.

“Its not okay these are people we are not just number on a roster. These are lives. I really lost my brother she really lost her son,” said Fulton. 

Carrie Hale says her son, 24-year-old Jesse Abrams says police told her that her son went into cardiac arrest outside his dorm room in August 2019.

“There’s a lot of questions that I need answered on how my son died because I don’t believe what was told,” said Hale. 

Former instructor at CDA, Christopher Martin, created a petition to shut the school down and received over a thousand signatures.

“They don’t need to be diving people until the investigation is over by everybody, that’s the VA and JSO,” said Martin. 

Families say they won’t stop calling for change until their voices are heard.

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