New Hampshire firefighter dies in scuba diving accident in Gloucester

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — A Swanzey, New Hampshire firefighter died in an apparent scuba diving accident in Gloucester on Saturday.

The Swanzey Fire Department posted on Facebook that Lieutenant Benjamin Tatro died in the accident near Cape Ann.

The small town is now mourning the loss of a long-time firefighter, where it seems everyone knew Lt. Tatro.

Tatro had been with the department for 20 years, and served as the senior lieutenant on Ladder 1 - Station 3.

He was deeply involved with his community, participating in everything, from coaching to working as an EMT and even making sure the fire truck was decorated for Christmas.

Tatro was a 20-year veteran of the department, and served as the senior lieutenant on Ladder 1 - Station 3.

It is with deep regret and with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Swanzey Lieutenant Benjamin Tatro. Lt...

Posted by Swanzey Fire Department on Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lt. Tatro was in Gloucester with a dive team when he died, but was not undergoing training himself.

In Fact, Lt. Tatro was an extremely well-qualified diver, a more experienced diver than anyone else on the water rescue team at the Swanzey Fire Department.

The department called Tatro "an advanced EMT and a skilled rescue diver with the Water Rescue Task Force."

Authorities are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong.

In the meantime, the Swanzey community is mourning the loss of a dear member.

"He grew up in this town, attended Monadnock Regional High School,  his wife is from this town [and his] children are in the schools here in Swanzey," said Fire Chief Norm Skantze. "Parents are involved in the community, and I think for the whole community it's a very big loss."

"We join the Tatro family in grieving the loss of our brother and friend who had been so deeply involved in the Swanzey community for his entire life," the department wrote in the post.

The loss of Lt. Tatro was on everyone's minds during the town's Memorial Day parade.

"He grew up with my daughter, went all through high school and grammar school with him, very nice family, " said Gail Wood, a Swanzey resident.

On Memorial Day, Tatro was always the person who made sure a flag was flying from the ladder truck.

"I had four people come and address me and give their condolences so it's really apparent in the community how well known he was and how much of a loss it's going to be," said Swanzey Fire Department Deputy Chief Vincent Sanchez. "In a small town this is a family affair for us, and it is - it's like losing a member of the family."