Catalina Body Found

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ken Kurtis on June 06, 2000 at 00:14:20:

The body of John Olsen, the diver who was reported missing 5/27 in the Avalon UW Park, was found this weekend (Sunday) just outside the Park in 100' of water. An article in the LA Times states that he was diving with a buddy but others have reported seeing him diving alone. This has gotten some discussion on rec.scuba, so I'm copying here a post I made there which gives some other details about the recovery.
(Chris Ward posted) Uh....did I miss something or didn't that post state that he went diving with a friend???

Chris is correct when he says that the post (from the L.A. Times) states that the victim (John Olsen) was diving with a freind. However, the Times article is wrong in this respect.

John was diving alone. This was his second dive of the day. He was
assisting/accompanying an instructor on an intro dive for the first one, and perhaps that's where the confusion lies

He was seen entering the water alone by at least one (other) instructor that I personally know and talked to. Ironically and sadly, this instructor strongly suggested John get a buddy for the dive but that advice wasn't taken.

The other "evidence" to suggest John was diving alone comes from the fact that he wasn't discovered missing until the first instructor, who he had been assisting, came looking for him about an hour and a half after he had entered. Had he been with a buddy, at some point the buddy would have exited and reported John missing but that didn't happen.

I also talked today with the instructor who discovered the body while diving wth two students from an advanced class and a DMIT. The body was laying face down about 100' deep in a fairly barren sandy area, pretty much straight out from the steps and beyond the middle back line buoy that defines the UW Park boundaries (for those of you familiar with Avalon). It's not known if this is where the accident occured or if this is merely where he had drifted to after 8
days underwater.

Most significantly, John's weight belt was still in place and there appeared to be little or no air in the tank as the rescuing instructor reported that he couldn't get any air into the BC through the power inflator.The instructor, who was unaware of John's being missing for over a week and was thinking this was someone who has just done a dive (for those wondering about rigor mortis, he reports that the body was still pretty soft and flexible), brought the body to the surface outside the confines of the Park, used his Dive Alert to signal for help, and transferred the body (and then found out what was going on) to a responding Baywatch boat.

An autopsy will be perfomed to try to detrmine a cause of death, but I'd be willing to bet, absent of any obvious cardiac problems, they're going to list it as a drowning.

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

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]