Teen prepping for Navy SEAL unit drowns

MELVILLE, N.Y. — Marc William Dawson had yet to ship off to the Navy when he died from pushing himself to be among the elite.

Dawson, 17, of Greenlawn, never recovered after passing out underwater last week as he practiced holding his breath in a Huntington YMCA pool.

He was set to ship out in September and hoped to qualify to train as a Navy SEAL, his sister-in-law, Mariel Dawson, said Thursday night. “He wanted to wear that suit and come home and be a proud soldier,” Dawson said.

The Harborfields High School senior had been submerged for about two minutes on Feb. 18 when fellow lifeguards spotted him face-down in the pool, said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of Suffolk’s homicide squad. He had vomited into the water.

Investigators have ruled the drowning an accident, and they do not suspect any foul play, Fitzpatrick said.

Dawson had been on duty as a lifeguard at the Y the day he drowned, but he had gone on a break and gone underwater to hold his breath, Fitzpatrick said. After about two minutes, Dawson signaled fellow lifeguards on duty.

“They check on him, and he waves to them and points to his watch,” Fitzpatrick said.

Moments later, Fitzpatrick said, “he’s unconscious under the water, face-down.” Other lifeguards tried to resuscitate him by administering CPR. Dawson died Monday, at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, police said.

Mariel Dawson of Glen Cove said she’ll always remember her brother-in-law. She said he dreamed of life in the SEALs.

A recruit for the SEALS must pass a rigorous screening test, including push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and a host of aquatic requirements, according to a Navy recruiting Web site.

“He wanted to be very much involved,” Mariel Dawson said. “He wanted to save lives.”

And even in death, Marc Dawson got his wish.

Since his death, five patients’ lives have been changed, she said.

“His heart was given to a man who had four hours left to live,” Mariel Dawson said.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A person walks in the rain at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
First heavy rain event predicted Sunday night for Snohomish County

Starting Sunday evening, 1 to 1½ inches of rain is expected in western Washington. It marks the end of fire season, meteorologists said.

Clinton man, 61, dies in motorcycle crash Friday

Washington State Patrol lists speed as the cause. No other people or vehicles were involved.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement partners advise the public of of colorful fentanyl.  (Photo provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration)
After rainbow fentanyl pills found in Tulalip, police sound alarms

Investigators are concerned the pastel-colored pills may end up in the hands of children.

Most Read