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Texas Father Died While Scuba Diving in Florida During Annual Trip with 14-Year-Old Son

Kenneth Lowery, 52, and his son Xander, 14, entered the waters on March 13 as part of a dive tour, authorities said

<p>Chad Lowery/Facebook</p> Kenneth Chad Lowery

Chad Lowery/Facebook

Kenneth Chad Lowery
  • Kenneth Lowery, 52, and his son Xander, 14, entered the waters on March 13 as part of a dive tour, said authorities

  • The death comes only three weeks after the passing of Xander's mother, according to Xander's grandmother

  • Lowery was working on becoming a certified diving instructor, per his obituary

A father died last week while on a diving excursion with his teenage son off the coast of Florida’s Juno Beach, authorities said.

The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) said that authorities responded to a call on March 13 of a missing diver in the vicinity of Captain Mike’s Reef, NBC affiliate WPTV reported.

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The victim, identified as Kenneth Chad Lowery, and his son were part of a tour with a dive charter that morning, per The Palm Beach Post, They entered the water around 9:50 a.m., and then a few minutes later, the son emerged and yelled for help.

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The teen told the captain and the crew of the dive charter that his father didn’t have a regulator with him, according to ABC affiliate WPBF.

"My grandson, they went out, I guess, on a boat. 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 (my grandson) came up as fast as he could," Kelly Bezayiff, Lowery's mother-in-law, told WPTV. "When he came up, he looked back and his dad wasn't there."

Lowery’s body was found around 11:30 a.m., per The Palm Beach Post.

In her interview with WPTV, Bezayiff said that Lowery and his son had been going to Florida every year for their scuba diving trip since Xander was 8. She went on to say that this year's trip came three weeks after the death of the boy's mother, Virginia Murray.

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Bezayiff praised her son-in-law, telling WPTV: "He was phenomenal to my daughter as she was dying. He was there for her even though they weren't together anymore. I mean, he was just that type of man."

According to a published obituary, Lowery, 52, was born in Stephenville, Texas. He is survived by his parents and two siblings along with his three children and five grandchildren.

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“Chad was a devoted father and grandfather, nothing was more important to him than his family,” read the obituary. "He was a Certified Master Diver and was working to be certified as a dive instructor at the time of his death.”

PEOPLE reached out to the PBSO and Bezayiff for comment. 

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