Posted by Laurel on December 04, 2003 at 21:40:11:
It is with many tears I write this. Darryll was a good friend and fellow board member of the SOCDC.
The newspaper article was not very accurate in it's report, as few of them are. Darryll and Steve entered the water. As was said in an earlier post, the vis had decreased due to a swell, and waves had picked up. It is customary for many of our club members to get past the breakers, BC slightly inflated, fins on hands and paddle backstroke well beyond the surf zone. My understanding was they stopped in about 20 ft or so of water. Darryl started to add air to his BC, but the inflator hose popped off. He swam over to Steve to get help putting the inflator back on. Steve tried his best, but was unable to.
I am very unclear as to exactly what happened from there. Nor do I wish to ask Steve for details on such a painful incident. They were best friends and frequent dive buddies.
I do know Steve tried to help Darryll get his fins on. Darryll was probably panicking at this point, as I am sure many of us would. Without fins on, he was unable to stay at the surface. Darryll slipped under the water and Steve tried to get a hold of him. He went down to look for Darryll, but with poor vis, was unable to locate him. Steve ascended and called for help from he beach. 911 was called and others from the beach jumped in to search for Darryll. Unfortunately, it was too late.
I do not know why his BC was not orally inflated nor why weights weren't dropped. No one will evr know. That is why it is an accident. And a tragedy.
I have barely gone minutes without thinking of what a great guy Darryll was. I enjoyed diving with him. He did buddy checks and was fastidious in taking care of his equipment. He had an awesome outlook on life. He was a great friend that I will miss for a long time to come. I cannot begin to express my sadness over a passing of a friend.
There is a memorial dive scheduled for him this Saturday. Meet at Laguna Hills Mall at 7 am. We will leave for the beach at 7:45. Afterwards, there will be a get together at King's Fish House (at Lag. HIlls Mall) starting around 11 am.
Please keep his wife and family in your prayers. They are welcomed and needed.
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