Monday, April 22

Weeks after losing mother to cancer, teen’s father dies during annual diving trip

A father and son from Texas were on their annual scuba diving trip in Florida when something went wrong deep in the waters off Juno Beach.

“He called his big brother and told him that he was standing there and that he thought his daddy had drowned,” Kelly Bezayiff said Thursday.

Bezayiff said she got a phone call Wednesday in Texas that she’ll never forget.

“Then I just started to get to Florida,” she said.

The call was about her former son-in-law, Kenneth Lowery.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Republic IV Dive Charter out of the Jupiter Dive Center took Lowery and his son on a dive tour at 9 a.m.

By 9:50 a.m., both divers went into the water. A few minutes later, the 14-year-old came up yelling for help.

About 10 minutes later, Jupiter police and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were in the area of Captain Mike’s Reef, about 6 miles offshore, searching for Lowery.

Bezayiff said Lowery had taken her grandson on a scuba diving trip to Florida every year since he was 8. This time David Lowery, or Xander, as he’s known to family and friends, is the only one returning alive.

After an extensive search, Lowery’s body was discovered in the ocean.

“My grandson, they went out, I guess, on a boat,” Bezayiff told WPTV. “They went down. He knew there (were) problems and he tried to get his dad back up, so his dad pushed him up towards the top and Xander came up as fast as he could, and when he came up, he looked back and his dad wasn’t there.”

WPTV spoke to one of the owners of the Republic IV Dive Charter by phone. He said he didn’t have anything to say about Wednesday’s dive or the death of Lowery.

Bezayiff said Lowery was a great father to his three kids and to Xander’s mother, whom he recently lost to cancer.

“He was phenomenal to my daughter as she was dying,” Bezayiff said. “He was there for her even though they weren’t together anymore. I mean, he was just that type of man.”

Bezayiff said the death of Xander’s father means her grandson has lost both of his parents just three weeks apart.

She said Lowery was dive-certified and was working on becoming a diving instructor at the time of his death.

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