From Dr. Bill

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on May 02, 2010 at 12:31:49:

In Reply to: Casino Point closed yesterday posted by Bromley on May 02, 2010 at 10:46:01:

Never a dull moment out here on the island. I got down to the dive park
about 10:30. Shortly thereafter a friend came up from a dive and reported
that he had found an unexploded round of ammunition near the "swim
platform" and had left it there, identified by a ring of rocks around it.

We elected to tell the CDS trailer about it and they suggested we report
it. Whoever knew what that would mean! I assumed it was just another shell
from the World War II anti-aircraft training that occurred on Catalina
using guns mounted where the present dive park is. We've found dozens of
these in the past so I assumed it would be no big deal.

A local Catalina deputy sheriff called in to check on procedure, and the
Los Angeles County bomb squad was told to come out and investigate. The
dive park was immediately closed and all divers in the water were recalled
by the harbor patrol using their recall siren.

Harbormaster Brian Bray saved the day when he opened neighboring Descanso
Bay up for diving. That made the Valiant fair game without a perm it! I
stayed with our local deputy to take some video of the steps taken to shut
down the park. At my suggestion the deputy called for yellow Sheriff Dept.
tape to put across the stairs.

I eventually made it to Descanso and did one dive. Two giant sea bass were
seen at 90 ft near the Valiant, so I headed out there to see if I could
find them. I didn't so I moved towards the reef at the north end of
Descanso and found plenty to film there with the dying Sargassum horneri.
As I returned to the beach, I spooked a shovelnose guitarfish out in 7 ft
of water but it was too quick for me to film.

After a little socializing following the dive, I returned to the dive park
in time to see the Sheriff's bomb squad descend and soon return with the
shell. Many of the emergency personnel present handled it without concern
so I asked if I could take a picture for my newspaper column on the
incident. I was told no by some mucky muck from the mainland. Sheez!

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