On 18 October 2014, Lake EMS staff, Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department’s Water Emergency Team (WET), and crews from Quiescence Diving Services and Scuba-Do Dive Center joined forces for a memorial dive and installment of a commemorative plaque at the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove to honor the life of Captain Joseph Dragojevich Sr.
The Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department’s WET team, Capt. Rob Bleser and his crew from Quiescence Dive Center, along with staff from Scuba-Do Dive Center were the same entities who had been involved in the rescue and recovery efforts when Dragojevich perished in a diving accident at the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove exactly one year ago. An avid and experienced diver in his private life, Joseph Dragojevich’s professional life had been dedicated to saving others. He was a well-respected and well-loved District Chief with Lake EMS, serving Lake County Florida as a paramedic and field supervisor for more than 13 years.
Three boats carrying family, friends, emergency personnel, and divers traveled to the site of the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove, six miles offshore from Key Largo Saturday afternoon. Immediately upon arrival, Lake EMS Capt. Stewart Brown and Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department W.E.T. technical diver, Steve Schalk entered the water and dove down 96 feet on the port side of the ship where they installed a commemorative plaque which reads, “In Loving Memory of Joseph A. Dragojevich – June 11, 1970 to October 18, 2013.” Within 20 minutes, the rest of the divers joined Brown and Schalk to view and film the plaque.