Posted by Max Bottomtime on January 05, 2002 at 21:36:06:
Man on first unsupervised sea dive dies
By Terry Rodgers
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 5, 2002
A 39-year-old Temecula man on his first unsupervised dive since obtaining his certificate drowned yesterday while exploring the sea floor with a friend about a mile off Point La Jolla, authorities said.
The diver was identified by the Medical Examiner's Office as Anthony Rossa.
Rossa's body was recovered about 11:30 a.m. in 65 feet of water by a San Diego lifeguard dive rescue team, said Lifeguard Lt. Brant Bass.
Rossa's diving partner, who was identified only as a Temecula resident, told lifeguards his partner signaled that he intended to surface because his tank was running low on air, but he still had 800 pounds of pressure left.
An air tank with 800 pounds of pressure normally would last seven or eight minutes in 65 feet of water for an experienced diver, but novice divers typically use up more air, Bass said.
"It makes a difference how comfortable you are under the water, how warm you are and how deep you are," he said. "An inexperienced diver will breathe up to two times as fast as a veteran diver."
The partner said he continued exploring the bottom for five minutes, and then surfaced. When he could not find his friend, he immediately radioed for help.
When rescuers found Rossa, his air tank was empty, his buoyancy compensator was deflated and he had his diving weights on. He was clutching a game bag, which was empty.
Bass said the death will be investigated by a panel of diving experts he oversees for the county Medical Examiner's Office.
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