West Vancouver's Whytecliff Park was the site of an Oct. 9 scuba-diving incident that claimed the life of Surrey resident Michelle Leah Norman.

West Vancouver's Whytecliff Park was the site of an Oct. 9 scuba-diving incident that claimed the life of Surrey resident Michelle Leah Norman.

Surrey woman identified as scuba-diving victim

Coroner identifies West Vancouver scuba-diving victim as 44-year-old Michelle Leah Norman of Surrey

A scuba-diving incident in West Vancouver last week claimed the life of a Surrey woman.

Michelle Leah Norman, 44, was identified as the victim in the Oct. 9 tragedy, in a statement issued Wednesday morning by the BC Coroners’ Service.

Norman – who was director of training for Wok Box – died  while participating in a deep-water specialty scuba-diving class at Whytecliff Park, in an area known as “the cut,”  regional coroner Angela Sosnoski said in the statement.

“While on a dive, Ms. Norman went into distress, and upon regaining the surface, she could not be resuscitated.”

A news release issued by West Vancouver Police the day after the tragedy states the diver “experienced an undetermined emergency during her ascent from depth.

“The exact nature of the emergency remains under investigation.”

The name of the diving school has not been released.

An Oct. 10 Facebook comment – by a man responding to an April 11 post by Norman on a South Surrey scuba-diving centre’s Facebook page – describes Norman’s death as “such a tragic loss.”

Comments added to a Dignity Memorial guest book on Oct. 15 describe Norman as someone with a strong spirit and a passion for helping others; “a great person to be around and work with.”

One describes her as  “an amazingly strong, intelligent, hardworking, honest and compassionate woman… a leader and also so down to earth and easy to talk to.”

Sosnoski said police and the coroners’ service continue to investigate.