Search Crews Recover Body Of Missing Diver

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Posted by on June 28, 2005 at 16:30:58:

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

Officials Unsure What Caused Accident

SAN DIEGO -- Divers were able to recover the body Tuesday of a scuba instructor who died over the weekend during a dive to the sunken Canadian destroyer ship Yukon.

The body of Steven Donathan, 50, was recovered around 10 a.m., NBC 7/39 reported. It is now at the Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy, according to San Diego Lifeguard Lt. John Greenhalgh.

Donathan became separated from a student during an expedition to Yukon. Donathan, known as an expert diver, was exploring the interior of the ship at a depth of about 100 feet. It was not immediately clear whether Donathan suffered from a medical emergency or just became lost or trapped.

The 366-foot decommissioned Canadian warship, located off the coast of Mission Beach, is a popular diving destination in the so-called Wreck Alley off the coast of San Diego. Lifeguards expressed surprise that the dive became treacherous for Donathan.

"For someone as experienced as Steve, the Yukon should have been a piece of cake," said Steve Haynes, former president of San Diego Council of Divers, who heard that the missing diver was Donathan.

Searchers found Donathan's body in a tight space in the ship's boiler room shortly before 12:30 p.m. Monday. The area is situated against the lowest level of the hull. The cramped conditions made the recovery effort extremely difficult, officials said.

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