Posted by fred on January 05, 2001 at 19:23:10:
In Reply to: Another death at Monastery posted by Max Bottomtime on January 05, 2001 at 18:32:47:
Diver presumed drowned
By AMY ETTINGER
An East Bay man was presumed drowned Thursday after he disappeared while diving off Monastery Beach south of Carmel, an area that often has proved
treacherous for divers. An East Bay man was presumed drowned Thursday after he disappeared while diving off Monastery Beach south of Carmel, an area that often has proved
treacherous for divers.
Ryen Wann, 31, of Newark, was scuba diving with a friend, Aaron Arnott, about 1 p.m. Thursday. Arnott lost sight of Wann as the two were swimming to the surface, Monterey County
sheriff's officials said.
"I turned around and he wasn't there," Arnott, a Fremont resident, told officers.
Wann was described as an experienced diver in good health. He had dived in Hawaii 10 days earlier.
Monastery Beach is well known for its treacherous surf. Authorities from the Carmel Highlands Fire Department estimated that an average of two people drown each year in Carmel
Bay, which includes Monastery Beach. The U.S. Coast Guard was called out to assist divers in the Carmel Bay eight times between October 1999 and September 2000, according to
Coast Guard records.
Divers who are not used to the area are most susceptible to being swept up by the undercurrent, said sheriff's deputy Kevin Gardepie . The missing man had dived at the spot at least
once before, he said.
The conditions Thursday were relatively calm, with warm weather and clear skies. Visibility in the water was good. DiCarlo said the diver could have experienced some medical
problems that might have caused him to drown.
Arnott and Wann went down to about 120 feet below the surface about 300 yards off of the coast. A dive below 100 feet is considered deep, said DiCarlo.
After realizing Wann was missing, Arnott dived to about 180 feet to search for his friend, and then surfaced and called for help.
"In diving, when you lose sight of your partner, you're supposed to surface," Gardepie said. "He immediately started calling for help."
Ryan Weeks, a 23-year-old Carmel resident, helped the exhausted Arnott out of the water. He waited on the beach while rescue teams searched the water for his friend.
By 2:15 p.m., authorities said it was unlikely the missing man had enough air left in his tanks to survive.
The Sheriff's Department, Pacific Grove Ocean Rescue, state park rangers, the Coast Guard and the California Department of Forestry responded to the call. The Coast Guard
searched the area by helicopter and boat.
Rescue teams were expected to resume their search this morning.
Amy Ettinger can be reached at
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