Father recounts moments before son went missing during dive

Father recounts moments before son went missing during dive

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The Coast Guard expanded its search for a missing diver on Monday to include a bigger area, off the coast of Folly Beach. They're searching a larger area, by water and air, because of changes in the currents and the wind.

The young man, identified by family friends as Tristen Allen, was last seen by his father while the pair went diving in the water Saturday afternoon.

Tristen Allen just graduated from James Island Charter High School - with a bright future ahead.

"We went diving yesterday because it was our last day together before he goes to the Citadel," said Sam Allen, Tristen's father.

Sunday, Sam Allen spoke to his son's friends who gathered at one of Tristen's favorite places to prayer - his former high school football field.

A middle line backer on the field, number 41, there's no denying Tristen's love for life and the game.

"If you asked Tristen what the Trojan War was, he'd tell you it was James Island versus Berkeley right here," said Allen.

His father explained to the somber crowd what happened in the water Saturday afternoon. Allen said after their 30 minute dive went as planned, they re-surfaced together.

"We came off the bottom holding hands, we reached the surface," said Allen. "He was with me the whole time, he was never left alone."

Allen says then, without a sound, Tristen quickly went back under water. Allen said he appeared to be struggling to get his gear off and before his father could reach him, Tristen was nowhere to be seen. Allen says they dove for hours trying to find him.

While details of exactly what happened to Tristen in the water will remain cloudy, his father is reflected on better thoughts of his son.

"All of you are his family. I was always hard on Tristen about certain things - in particular about Tristen's failure to have a long term goal," said Allen to the crowd Sunday. "But, on the walk back from the beach a minute ago, I saw that he accomplished that goal. He managed to make all of y'all young men and women up there his brothers and sisters ...and that's what he wanted to do."

The Coast Guard says the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources may join the search.

Air stations from Clearwater, Florida and Savannah, Georgia assisted the search Sunday but did not resume Monday.

Copyright WCSC 2014.