Family, friends and coworkers mourn the loss of volunteer diver - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Family, friends and coworkers mourn the loss of volunteer diver

KILLEEN, TX (KXXV) -

Family, friends and colleagues remembered a volunteer diver Monday who died after getting hurt while searching for a missing man on Fort Hood over the weekend.

The water continued to circulate in the pool and the equipment still hung on the racks, but Monday was not just another day at Project Scuba in Killeen. It was a day of mourning for Chris Mendoza, the course director for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

"It seems like she worked here for five seconds actually, and then it feels like it was forever," Mendoza said.

He's talking about Lori Pohanka-Kalama who was hurt Saturday while searching for a missing man on Fort Hood.

"We a lot of times call that diving by braille," Mendoza said.

The volunteer with the Morgan's Point Resort Dive Team was diving in Clear Creek around 6:30 p.m. when the current pulled her into a culvert.

"It took awhile to get her out," Mendoza said.

Doctors pronounced Pohanka-Kalama dead at a hospital on Sunday.

"I couldn't believe it. It knocked the wind out of my sails," Mendoza said.

Mendoza said he helped Pohanka-Kalama become an instructor and gave her advice on the search.

"She was the lady of adventure. She loved it. You couldn't talk her out of it. She wanted to go there. She wanted to do that," Mendoza said.

Even though Mendoza said Project Scuba will never be the same without Pohanka-Kalama, he is glad she died doing what she loved.

"I think that is everybody's dream is to go doing what you love," Mendoza said.

The man Pohanka-Kalama was trying to find went missing on Tuesday after his car got caught in flood waters. Searchers have found his car, but not him.

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