Thursday, 6 August 2009


Members of CrossWinds Church in Dublin are in mourning after a 20-year-old youth minister presumably drowned Tuesday in Shasta Lake while scuba diving alone during a church excursion, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office said this morning.
Jeremiah Murray of Dublin had gone scuba diving by himself Tuesday morning and around noon, members of his church group called authorities after he hadn't surfaced for about 70 minutes, the sheriff's office said.
About nine hours later, a dive team found Murray's body in 55 feet of water, 150 feet from the shoreline of Karin Cove in the Big Backbone Inlet, the sheriff's office said. The county's coroner's office has taken custody of the body to determine the cause of death.
Lance Hough, a production coordinator with the church, said Murray was a longtime fixture there as both a pupil of its youth ministry and most recently as a counselor and mentor. His father and brother were also heavily involved with the church, which was on an annual trip with more than 200 high schoolers who stayed in rented houseboats on the lake, forming what they called a "floating city."
"To say this is a huge loss is putting it lightly," Hough said. "He was a really wonderful guy."
Hough said the church is already making plans to remember Murray in an upcoming Sunday service, and to provide counseling and support for the youths, who are expected to return early from the trip.
"Our primary focus is making sure the families have people to talk to — resources to cope with this loss," he said. "Jeremiah was a dedicated servant to this church. We're devastated."