Re: Diver disappears off of Van Damme, the first place to look for a dive instructor

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Posted by on December 03, 2004 at 07:53:13:

In Reply to: Diver disappears off of Van Damme posted by on December 03, 2004 at 07:44:55:

The search for abalone diver William Charles Krupski, a vascular surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, who was reported missing Saturday, remained unsuccessful Tuesday along the Mendocino Coast off Van Damme State Park.

After retrieving an abalone iron Monday, search and rescue team workers extensively searched the area near Little River with divers, workers on boats and along the coast, according to Mendocino County Sheriff's Lt. Don Miller. After four days of searching for Krupski, the search and rescue is developing into a recovery, Miller said.

"I am really disheartened, to be honest, because I thought we were in the right place and thought we would make a recovery today. If it happened in the ocean, I am almost certain that we will be finding a body. There is always hope that we find him alive, but in reality if he has been in the water this long then it is probably going to be a recovery," Miller said.

In his experience, Miller can only remember one instance where there was a missing person -- who was presumed drowned in Mendocino waters -- who was found alive after such an extended period of time.

"I do remember a few years back where we had a missing person who was presumed drowned but turned up in New Mexico or another southwestern state, which is the only exception," Miller said.

Krupski, who would have celebrated his 57th birthday Monday, was abalone diving with his wife, Ann Krupski, when they were separated in the rough and murky Mendocino waters.

According to Mendocino County Sheriff's Capt. Kevin Broin, search and rescue workers from the Sheriff's Office, the Department of Fish and Game and State Parks assisted with the search Tuesday.

"We had approximately six people from Search and Rescue and the Sheriff's Office looking on land along the shoreline, and we are going to do it again tomorrow," Broin said.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office records state that four people have died while abalone diving in Mendocino waters, including one who was killed by a shark in August.

With the help of three divers, the Search and Rescue team searched the cloudy water along the Mendocino Coast, but without success. According to Miller, the area is known for having limited visibility.

"It looks great from the surface, but when you get down there it is very murky. The divers told me there was about 10 feet of visibility," Miller said.

The search will continue in the same general area today with divers and workers along the coast, Miller said.

"I am not giving up on that area yet," Miller said. "I feel that we have too much to search yet, but as time goes on we will have to expand our search more."

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