Re: Death at Catalina


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Posted by ken Kurtis on May 31, 2000 at 10:02:34:

In Reply to: Death at Catalina posted by BENTMAN on May 31, 2000 at 08:14:01:

(Bentman wrote) 2 divers went in and only 1 came out.

My understanding is that the guy was diving solo.

I've gotten two versions of the story from two different instructors who were there that day (Saturday, 5/27), but the one I tend to believe is the most accurate is that the soon-to-be victim was assisting another instructor with an intro dive. After that dive, the victim decided that he would do a second dive, and couldn't make up his mind about visiting the Valiant, the Sujack, or the wrecks in the middle of the UW Park. He then entered the water solo (though I don't know if this was actually observed or not).

About an hour and a half later, the instructor who the victim had been assisting came up and asked if anyone had seen the victim lately. It was at that point that they realized he still hadn't returned from the dive and was missing. They notifed Baywatch, and the instructors at the Park got their classes out of the water and began a search of the Park, to no avail.

A while later, the Park was officially closed for diving while Lifeguards and Sheriff's ESD continued the search.

To my knowledge, as of Tuesday afternoon, they still had not recovered the body. I'm also told that in some of the deeper areas, the bull kelp is VERY thick. The vis was also low (5-10') and the water temp was running around 53. Any or all of those factors could have contributed to the accident but without a body or eyewitnesses, it's all pretty much all speculation at this point.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

A while later


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