Videographer drowns in Oklahoma while filming underwater documentary

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POCOLA, Okla. – A videographer who has won Emmy awards for his documentary work died while filming in Oklahoma.

According to KFSM, Robert Champ Williams died Friday while filming a segment for a documentary.

Williams was diving inside the tank of a 200-pound snapping turtle when something went wrong.

Family members claim Williams drowned in two-and-a-half feet of water.

They believe there was something wrong with Williams’ re-breather on his wetsuit.

Before the dive, Williams posted on Facebook, “I’ve got a date with a 200 lb river monster tonight! Just finished prepping and packing the rebreather. Wish me luck!”

Officials say they are still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

Family members told KFSM that Williams put himself in the 1,000 gallon tank to film the final part of his documentary, “Ozarks Underwater.”


The latest segment, which was being shot in Pocola, Oklahoma, was the final piece in the four-year long process.

The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, where Williams spent more than five years as a videographer, released the following statement:

“He was a scholar. He was a great talent with a lot of imagination and someone that’s going to be greatly missed in this community.”

KFSM reports that Williams was a marine biologist and master diver. His work has appeared on the History Channel and National Geographic.

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