DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK (FOX5) -- The National Park Service said in a statement it completed its report on how NPS volunteer died while completing a routine fitness swim test in March 2018.
Tom Jakulski, 72, was a long-time NPS volunteer at Death Valley National Park, the agency said. The Riverside County Coroner determined his cause death was cardiovascular disease. The manner of Jakulski's was ruled as natural causes.
According to the Serious Accident Investigation Factual Report, Jakulski was nearing the end of his routine test but an NPS dive officer noticed he appeared to have some difficulty swimming. The officer told Jakulski he could end the test yet he kept swimming.
The officer entered the water and swam alongside Jakulski, NPS said. With 10 feet remaining in order to complete the test, Jakulski stopped swimming and went limp. The officer pulled him from the pool and began performing CPR.
Jakulski passed away on March 24, 2018 after being taken off life-support in Rancho Mirage, Calif., according to NPS.
“Tom was passionate about diving, Devils Hole and his work as an NPS volunteer,” Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds said. “We are fortunate to have known Tom. He will be greatly missed by employees and volunteers at Death Valley National Park and by a strong network of friends.”
Since 1992, Jakulski had been a key member of the Devils Hole Dive Team, NPS said. He scuba dived on a regular basis at Devils Hole to monitor the pupfish of the same name.
Jakulski is survived by his wife, daughter and grandson.
NPS said Jaskulski was a respected leader in the diving community. The Divers Alert Network named him diver of the year in 2004 and The National Association of Cave Diving gave him the Wakulla Award in 2000.