Suspected Amateur Diver Tragically Dies Attempting Ambitious Bridge Stunt

SAN FRANCISCO—A young man's body was discovered in the waters underneath the Golden Gate Bridge early yesterday morning in what police assume must be the result of a failed extreme free-dive. 

Ashton Clarke, a 24 year old computer programmer from the Silicon Valley, is suspected to have secretly been a diving enthusiast who yesterday attempted an elaborate solo stunt off one of the world's tallest bridges without taking the proper safety considerations.

Clarke's family and friends are reportedly in complete shock.

"I had no idea he was even into diving" his mother admitted to reporters while holding back tears, "he always seemed too depressed to even take up any hobbies... I can't believe he took such a giant risk without even telling us."

Clarke was described by his mother as a reserved, sleep-deprived and sad man who didn't really have a social life and hated his job. She claimed to have no knowledge of any involvement in extreme sports or any plans to pull off any spectacular stunts.

"There were no warning signs at all" Clarke's father explained, "he never once mentioned that he was interested in diving, I mean all he ever did was talk about how awful his life was and how he was so miserable— how was I to know something like this would happen out of the blue?" 

In the police's five minute investigation of the case, they found nothing that suggested the incident wasn't a cut and dry case of extreme-dive-gone-wrong and found nothing unusual in their search of the man's house which was empty except for what they suspect is a draft of a poem about a fictional character who wanted to kill himself which was left on the coffee table.

The incident is just one of hundreds of similar accidental deaths off the bridge recorded by the San Francisco Police Force this year. They suspect that the problem must be that people just don't understand how easy it is to fall to their death.

Although the situation has been hard on all who were close to Clarke, his mother has stated that even though she didn't know about it, her son must have truly loved diving and that at least she can take comfort in knowing that "he died doing what he loved." 

A version of this article appeared in Simon Fraser University's Student Newspaper The Peak on 10/22/2012:

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