Body Of Missing Diver Recovered From Sunken Ship

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Posted by on June 28, 2005 at 16:28:41:

In Reply to: Body of diver recovered from sunken ship posted by on June 28, 2005 at 13:53:23:

Crews Tuesday recovered the body of a missing diver from a sunken ship off the Mission Beach coast.

Divers found Steven Donathan's body Monday after he vanished during a dive Saturday evening.

His body was located on the bottom level of the sunken war-ship Yukon, which is a very difficult area to reach.

"He was located in a very obscure, remote section of the vessel not intended for divers to be in. We were very fortunate that our divers were able to locate him," said San Diego lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma.

Divers brought Donathan's body to the surface shortly before 10 a.m. and turned it over to the county Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy, San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Greenhalgh said.

They planned to return to the Yukon Tuesday afternoon to retrieve Donathan's scuba equipment, which they removed to expedite the recovery process, Greenhalgh said.

Initial evidence suggests that Donathan may have been unable to get out of the vessel due to impaired visibility in the dark water, according to lifeguard officials.

"He was definitely in an area that was tight, and the (preliminary) assumption is that ... he kicked up a lot of silt and was unable to find an exit from where he was," the lieutenant said.

Donathan, 50, a lifelong San Diegan, leaves behind his girlfriend and a son, aged 19

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