Missing diver's body found near Malaga Cove

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Posted by on July 06, 2009 at 06:41:41:

In Reply to: Diver missing off the PV coast triggers Coast Guard search posted by on July 05, 2009 at 22:46:19:

A 52-year-old Huntington Beach man who had gone diving Saturday was found dead Sunday morning in shallow waters near Malaga Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes, police said.

Police began an extensive search for the man around 8 p.m. Saturday when a friend reported that the diver had failed to meet up at a scheduled time and place earlier in the day.

Rescue helicopters and boats from the Coast Guard, Los Angeles County Fire Department Baywatch in Redondo Beach and the Redondo Beach Harbor Patrol searched an area spanning more than 72 square miles of ocean, authorities said.

The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Halibut joined the search later Saturday night until visibility began to fade because of darkness, officials said.

"They had to call it off, but resumed the search first thing in the morning the next day at 6 a.m.," said Sgt. Steve Barber of the Rancho Palos Verdes Police Department, which handled the case with assistance from other agencies.

The man had reportedly left early Saturday morning, saying he planned to go diving for about eight hours. Police found the diver's car in a parking lot with no diving gear inside, police said.

A friend who was supposed to meet him eventually called police, telling authorities he was worried because the man was usually reliable and never stayed out in the water for too long, officials said.

The man's body was found by the Baywatch patrol out of Redondo Beach, fairly close to the shore. It was submerged in waters about 15 feet deep, officials said.

The cause of death is under investigation, but it appears to be accidental, police said.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office had not released the diver's name as of Sunday afternoon. An autopsy is planned.

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