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"Then this morning (sunday), I was in the water waiting for our OW students to leap off of the ledge (where the big rocks used to be at the bottom of the stairs)... when 2 older guys who'd gotten in right after me started talking a few feet from me... One of them said something didn't feel right (he said this 3 or 4 times), said he felt constricted and something was wrong... I guess his buddy said it would be ok once they descended.... Not 5 min later, the guy (who was not feeling right) pops up to the surface alone in a panic~ grabbing at the neck of his wetsuit and it looked like he was struggling.. He was asked if he was ok, but I don't believe he responded coherently~ couple people from the shore got in and pulled him onto the nearest rocks.. I don't think his buddy surfaced until after the fact (but i'm not 100% since several divers who were in the water rushed over to help him).
There were a lot of mishaps at the dive park this weekend~ just not a good dive weekend"
Different. I was there for the near-drowning on the link. In fact, my group was right next to the stairs and had JUST returned to the mat when we started hearing yells of Call 911. I had time to spin off my tank and grab my cell phone. When I talked to 911, they said they were already on it.
There was in fact a death at Catalina the next morning. One of my students sailed across to Catalina and so did not come out Sunday. She told me Monday afternoon that when they were heading out Sunday, she was talking to the Harbor Master. Apparently someone died at Farnsworth Banks on a boat dive (leeward side of island) on Sunday morning and that the Sheriff had to send divers down to reclaim the BC rig - not sure of ANY other info. I do not know anything beyond this. Research elsewhere may provide info though....
Yes, there were two separate incidents shore diving at the dive park Sat and Sun. I have heard nothing about the Ohio diver who may have been involved in an incident. If it was indeed Farnsworth Banks, this is (and should be) an advanced dive. There is a history of incidents there due to a number of factors including divers not being sufficiently experienced to dive this submerged open water pinnacle. The very peak of the pinnacle is at about 60 feet with a plateau at about 85 feet. From there it drops off to hundreds of feet although I've only gone down to about 180 there. It is about 1 1/2 miles offshore and currents can kick up there.
An incredible dive, but one that shouldn't be attempted by someone without sufficient experience. In saying that I am making no comment on the diver who may have lost her life there. Obviously since I have heard nothing about this incident, I have absolutely no information as to her qualifications.
Scubapatton wrote: "Apparently someone died at Farnsworth Banks on a boat dive (leeward side of island) on Sunday morning and that the Sheriff had to send divers down to reclaim the BC rig - not sure of ANY other info. I do not know anything beyond this."
None of this information is correct. There was NOT a fatality at Farnsworth this past weekend. (And just to be precise, Farnsworth is the windward, not the leeward, side of Catalina.)
There was a fatality Sunday which did involve a woman from Ohio around the area between Doctor's Cove and Arrow Point. The accident is under investiagtion by the Coast Guard and by the LA County Coroner (for whom I am a consultant).
To that end, we are still looking for ther victim's camera. It's described as a small one-time-use throwaway type, with a blue rubber wristband. Most likely, it's floating. The color may be purple, blue, or clear. If you should find this, please contact me off-list (310/652-4990) as seeing what's in the camera (what she was taking pictures of) may help us with our investigation.
NAUI Instr. #5936
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA www.reefseekers.com