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Posted by . on June 18, 2002 at 17:31:02:

In Reply to: Re: Diver death/some details posted by Ken Kurtis on June 18, 2002 at 17:14:30:

Slate magazine writer dies scuba diving off PVE
By Larry Altman


A news columnist for the online magazine Slate
died while scuba diving alone off the Palos Verdes Estates shoreline, authorities said Monday.
A paddle boarder discovered Scott Thaman Shuger, 50, of Culver City, floating face up shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday off the 300 block of Paseo del Mar, police said.
Lifeguards tried to revive Shuger, but he was pronounced dead at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. An autopsy is pending, coroner's spokesman David Campbell said.
Shuger worked for Slate
, writing columns on such subjects as the invasion of Iraq, the census and 9-11. He also formerly handled the site's “Today's Papers” column, a popular commentary and summary of news reported by several newspapers across the country.
“The first day (that) Today's Papers appeared, we got a message from Bill Gates asking when we were planning to make it available by e-mail,” former Slate
editor Michael Kinsley recalled in a column on Shuger's death.
“One night early on Scott posted a notice, in place of the column, that he had a terrible cold and was too sick to write. By the next morning there were dozens of alarmed e-mails from loyal readers inquiring nervously about his health. The concern was human but also practical: They had come to depend on Scott to introduce the world to them each morning.”
Shuger stopped writing the column in September to become Slate
's principal writer about the war on terrorism.
“Scott could be cynical or playful, in life as well as in his writing, but an intense — patriotic, really — earnestness about defective weapons or intelligence reform or homeless policy was one of Scott's endearing characteristics.”
Kinsley called Shuger the first complete Internet journalist, and said he was happy in his job, proud of his daughter, Dale's, graduation from Harvard and looking forward to the rest of his life with his wife, Debora.
“He certainly wouldn't have chosen a sudden exit,” Kinsley wrote. “But all of us who shared Slate
editorial meetings with him can well imagine Scott — puckishly, tentatively at first, but perhaps even adamantly as he got swept up in his argument — making the case.”
Shuger's death served as a reminder about how dangerous it is to swim in the ocean alone.
“It's so tragic when something like this happens,” said Hallie Jones, a spokeswoman for Heal the Bay. “This is one of the reasons we remind our constituents to always dive with a partner.”

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