"It looked as if she were holding herself up to get a last breath of air. It was a consciously assumed position She didn't drown. She died of suffocation in her own air void. It took her at least three or four hours to die," diver John Farrar said in 1970 during the inquest into her death.
Former firefighter John Farrar, the scuba diver who extricated Kopechne's lifeless body from Kennedy's Oldsmobile in Poucha Pond, has said he saw signs of suffocation, not drowning — meaning a pocket of air in the car had kept the young woman alive for some time.