Re: Missing diver

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Posted by kelp diver on December 20, 1999 at 14:36:30:

In Reply to: Re: Missing diver posted by webmaster on December 16, 1999 at 20:49:50:

Published Thursday December 16, 1999

The body found by a chartered diving
boat Wednesday off Anacapa Island may be that of a
missing diver, Coast Guard officials said.

The body has yet to be identified but is assumed to be the
Orange County diver who was missing after a dive with a
Ventura-based charter, officials said.

Joo Hwan Hong, 45, of Irvine failed to surface for roll call
with his Korean dive club on the southwest coast of
Anacapa Island on Sunday morning.

"The body of a man wearing diving equipment was located
by a dive vessel off of Anacapa Island," Coast Guard Petty
Officer Kerry Kingery said.

The body was floating in the water, he said.

The search for Hong ended Tuesday morning, Kingery
said. With ocean water temperature in the upper 50s,
Kingery said the possibility for survival after eight hours
was very low.

The Coast Guard, Ventura County Sheriff's Department
and the Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue Dive
teams assisted in the search.

"The search saturated the area where he could be,"
Kingery said.

Hong and his group were exploring kelp beds and dove
with the Ventura-based vessel, Explorer.

Clues from Sunday's dive were scarce. John Baik, a fellow
diver, said Hong just didn't come up from the dive.

Hong was an experienced diver and had considered
becoming a diver instructor, Herb Javar, operator of the
Explorer, said.

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