Navy diver who died in Maryland was from the KC area

One of two sailors who died Tuesday in Maryland was former Gladstone resident and Winnetonka High School graduate Ryan Harris.

The Navy identified the two sailors who perished during routine diving operations at a test pond at an Army site in Maryland. Harris was a Navy Diver 2nd Class. The other sailor was 28-year-old Diver 1st Class James Reyher of Caldwell, Ohio. They died the Aberdeen Proving Ground in western Maryland.

Harris and Reyher were assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va. They died during operations at Aberdeen’s Underwater Test Facility, dubbed “Super Pond.” It is used to conduct shock testing of vessels, submarine systems and munitions.

The incident is under investigation.

Harris graduated from Winnetonka in 2007 and was accepted into the Navy’s special warfare combatant-craft crewmen unit. Members of the unit are qualified in combat boat operations and parachuting and are experts at combat swimming, navigation, demolitions and weapons. They train in the jungle, in cold weather and in all maritime surroundings.

Harris was a wrestler his freshman year in high school and was a student council representative his senior year. He also was an Eagle Scout.

His parents are Debbie and Gordon Harris of Kansas City.