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Injured Diver Responding to Decompression, His Wife Says

October 29, 1986

A South Laguna man who was airlifted from Baja California following a diving accident is improving, his wife said Tuesday.

Allison Meyer said her husband Jorg, 45, a glass blower and former professional diver, had completed a second decompression session in a hyperbaric chamber at UC San Diego Medical Center. He suffered a case of the bends after a dive of about 180 feet Sunday in the Sea of Cortez.

Also known as decompression sickness, the bends occur when divers return to the surface too rapidly. They can result in respiratory and neurological problems as well as pains in the joints.

Following the dive, Allison said, her husband appeared to have a seizure and collapsed, unable to use his legs. Friends drove him over a rough road to the city of La Paz for hospitalization before he was flown to San Diego.

"He's standing now," she said Tuesday. "He thinks he's going to walk tomorrow . . . it's encouraging."

A native of Berlin, Jorg Meyer worked as a professional diver in Australia before coming to Southern California. A 1965 photograph of him riding a 40-foot whale shark appeared in National Geographic magazine. Allison Meyer said that, while in Australia, her husband had "been in deeper water for longer times," than the Baja dive. "It just caught up with him," she said.

In addition to his work as a scientific glass blower at UC Irvine, Jorg Meyer is known in southern Orange County for his work with injured eagles, hawks and other birds of prey.

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