Rusty Garman drowns while attempting record dive

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Dr. Guy "Rusty" Garman, son of retired missionaries Larry and Addie Garman, passed away August 15 while attempting a deep dive world record. He was 56.

Rusty, who ran the Garman Ear, Nose, and Throat Center on St. Croix, planned the 1,200-foot dive for two years. The dive was projected to last more than 10 hours. Rusty was scheduled to meet up with two support divers — including his 20-year-old son, Kip — at an air station after 38 minutes, but Rusty never showed up. Divers stayed below for several hours in case Rusty had simply been delayed, but his body has yet to be recovered.

The current world record is held by Ahmed Gabr at 1,090 feet. 

Larry and Addie, who served as missionaries in Peru for 45 years, say that they believe Rusty made peace with God sometime before the dive. Prayer is requested for the Garman family, especially Rusty's three children — Kip, Grant, and Leah. 

Two weeks before the world record attempt, Rusty filmed a 550-foot dive.