Bristol man dies in diving accident off Rumstick Point

By Ana Bottary

Kenneth Watkinson holds a picture of his son, Ken Jr., from years ago during the snowstorm, where Kenneth was helping shovel the neighborhood. Kenneth Sr. says he wouldn’t be surprised if his son donated all the money he made that day, because that’s just the kind of person he was.

"He was the kind of kid that would always be helping somebody, if they had a fire, he’d go over there with 100 dollars and give it to them," Kenneth Sr.

Kenneth Jr., a Marine Corps veteran, had his life was cut short Friday while diving in the water off Rumstick Point in Barrington. Around 8 a.m., police received a "diver in distress" call, and shortly after, emergency crews pulled him from the water. He was brought to Rhode Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"It doesn’t seem real that he’s gone. I saw him today in the hospital and it looked like he was sleeping. I told him, ‘wake up, come on. Good joke, Kenny,’" says Mary Watkinson, Kenneth’s mother.

The family says they want their son remembered for the life he lived. He served the country, was an experienced diver, and worked at the ACI. They say he will always be a genuinely irreplaceable part of their lives.

"He was 42, but had a full life. Now the hard part will be going from week to week trying to recover his memory," says Mary.

© WLNE-TV 2015