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Colby College student mourned after tragic diving accident in southern Chile

Colby College student mourned after tragic diving accident in southern Chile
November 17
18:36 2011

Derrik Flahive, a 20 year-old Colby College student, died on Tuesday, Nov. 15 after diving into the Petrohué waterfalls at the Parque Nacional Vicente Pérez Rosales in Region X. Flahive and his friend,Samuel Edward Susanin, both exchange students at Universidad de Santiago, went over the security barriers on the rocks and jumped in from a 10-meter height.

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Derrik Flahive, Photo: Colby College LaCrosse

Susanin was resuscitated and taken to the clinic Clínica Alemana de Puerto Varas in a state of shock, while Flahive died the same day after losing consciousness and drowning. His body was retrieved by the Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales (GOPE) or Police Special Operations Group.

Originally from Littleton, Colo., Flahive was in his junior year as a global studies major with a minor in philosophy at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where  he played varsity lacrosse. Colby College President William Adams said Flahive was enrolled in the School for International Training program based in Santiago.

We lost a very dynamic young man in Derrik Flahive,” said Justin Domingos, his lacrosse coach, in a recent web post. “His ability to play lacrosse at a high level was overshadowed by his ability to connect with people from all walks of life.”

Flahive also spent time volunteering in Tanzania and Zimbabwe building schools, wells, stoves and other items for people in need. He was a mentor in the Colby Cares About Kids program and took part in many men’s lacrosse team fundraising and volunteer activities.

His parents, Roger and Katherine Flahive, run the Flahive Family Foundation, which has a mission “to enhance the quality of life of people all over the world through activities that promote education, self-sufficiency, health and wellness. The emphasis is on international projects and third world countries, especially Africa,” according to its website.

There was a community gathering of remembrance for Derrik on Thursday, November 17, at 12:30 p.m. in the chapel at Colby.  A more formal campus memorial service is being planned for after Thanksgiving. Flahive is survived by his parents and his sister.

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Julia Dose is an adventurous person with a passion for documentary story telling. Originally from the Chicago area, she received her degree in photojournalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is enjoying absorbing Chilean culture by interning at I Love Chile.


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