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Diver missing - Emerald Bay - Catalina Island

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by Incident, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. Incident

    Incident Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
    116
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  2. asm777

    asm777 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Bay, Los Angeles, CA
    4
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  3. OCdiving Deb

    OCdiving Deb Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: The OC...Orange County, CA
    661
    4
    18
    USCG issued an update this evening stating that they suspended their search as of sundown.

    Sadly, USCG sent out a plea for safe diving practices earlier today with the additional news that another fatality occurred this morning at Anacapa Island so the count as of this afternoon is 3 deaths, so far, since our SoCal 9/27/14 spiny lobster opener. I do not know whether these 3 accidents occurred via scuba or breath-hold diving.

    Be careful out there, my friends.
     
  4. keithbt

    keithbt Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: huntington beach, ca
    334
    70
    28
    I dove Indian Rock/Emerald Bay with the Sand Dollars sister boat. There was a bad current. If the current was the same the next day, anything would be swept away.:depressed:

    ---------- Post added October 1st, 2014 at 07:57 PM ----------

    Whats the third one? you said Anacapa, this one, and ?
    also, I cannot find any info on the Anacapa one
     
  5. OCdiving Deb

    OCdiving Deb Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: The OC...Orange County, CA
    661
    4
    18
    Oh, sorry. The first occurred on Saturday at one of the islands farther north, perhaps at either Santa Cruz or Santa Rosa Island. I don't know details. Today's at Anacapa was handled by National Park Service. I can gather more info after I finish a few things.

    ---------- Post added October 1st, 2014 at 08:40 PM ----------

    In response to the 3 diving fatalities so far this opening week of spiny lobster season:

    The Coast Guard wants you to Survive Your Dive!

    LOS ANGELES – As response agencies continue their search for a missing diver in Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, Calif., the Coast Guard reminds recreational divers to play it safe when diving along the California coast.
    In addition to the ongoing search, a diver fatality was reported Wednesday morning off Anacapa Island by the National Park Service, bringing the number diving accidents in the area to three since Spiny Lobster season opened Sept. 27th.
    “The Coast Guard doesn’t regulate recreational diving but is generally called in to assist during diving emergencies,” said Capt. Jennifer Williams, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach commander. “We see the tragic results when people underestimate the hazards associated with diving, with many of the injuries and deaths that occur being preventable. Diving is a sport that leaves little room for error and we urge everyone who is in the water to make safety a top priority.”
    FIVE TOP DIVE SAFETY TIPS
    1. Have a medical assessment by a doctor before diving.
    2. Always dive with a buddy, and leave details of your dive trip with someone ashore who will report you overdue if you run into trouble.
    3. Plan your dive, follow your plan, and provide your emergency plan to someone on shore.
    4. Choose dives that match your training, experience and fitness level.
    5. Practice emergency procedures, like dropping your weight belt and inflating your buoyancy compensator, in a controlled environment.
    All the normal hazards of water sports and recreation are more dangerous for those spending time below the surface. Strong ocean and rip currents can occur at any time of year. Water temperatures, limited air supply, reliance on equipment for survival, and the lack of underwater rescue capabilities all make it essential that divers are fully aware of their own limits and prepared for all possible problems.
    Diving safety experts report that many accidents stem from people underestimating the hazards associated with diving, and overestimating their own physical fitness and skill levels. They stress the importance of the buddy system, planning, fitness and medical issues, and awareness of weather and sea conditions.
    Divers should not let schedules, peer pressure or costs push them beyond their capabilities. People who have invested time and money to plan a dive trip, or sport fishers anxious to harvest fish during a set season, may be tempted to dive in unsafe conditions or overexert themselves. It’s a good idea to have an alternate activity planned in case a dive trip has to be cancelled for weather, equipment, or health problems.
    For more information please visit https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/



    ###​
    Date: Oct 1, 2014
    D11, PADET LA
    Contact: PA1 Adam Eggers
    Office: (310) 521-4260
    Mobile: (310) 781-0619



    Saving Lives and Guarding the Coast Since 1790.
    The United States Coast Guard -- Proud History. Powerful Future.
     
  6. dytis-sm

    dytis-sm Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Monica, CA
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    isn't Emerald bay an MPA? If it is then I doubt they were poaching for lobsters on the sand dollar. But I believe sand dollar is a liveaboard so it was definitely on a multi day trip which may included a night dive. But the lack of a buddy seems strange for just a standard night dive...Strange.
     
  7. Lee Coller

    Lee Coller PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Redondo Beach, CA
    31
    9
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    Emerald isn't a full MPA, but it is an invertebrate sanctuary, so the taking of lobsters is illegal. I doubt the Sand Dollar (a reputable boat) was taking divers there for lobster hunting.

    I'll also confirm the current, during tide changes there can be a significant current in Emerald Bay, likely the diver got swept away.
     
  8. OCdiving Deb

    OCdiving Deb Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: The OC...Orange County, CA
    661
    4
    18

    The initial news reports got it wrong. "
    What? That's in the invertebrate reserve!" was one of my initial reactions when television news reports first said the search teams were looking for the diver at Indian Rock, which we know is at the mouth of Emerald Bay in shallow water. I have since been told by someone closer to sources that they were actually diving at a pinnacle offshore from Emerald Bay that is OUTSIDE of the invertebrate reserve. That makes sense considering they have been searching depths between 125 and 300' according to my various sources.
     
  9. IrnBear

    IrnBear Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Pahrump, NV
    56
    12
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    Wow, this is crazy sad. Three lost divers in one opening weekend of Lobster season.
    The sea was very rough this weekend. The current was pretty swift in certain parts of the island as well.
    Our second dive we decided to stay near the boat (not the Sand Dollar) and play around in the sand on the bottom.

    This thread makes me curious:
    What is the procedure for a Dive Boat when such a thing happens?

    I, knowing my own water abilities and skills, would have a hard time not entering the water at the site of the divers cry for help to help.
    Noooo, I would not just jump in. Just say'n.

    Thanks for the info here,

    IrnBear
     
  10. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    7,911
    6,210
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    And now a fourth in Mission Bay last night. We're beginning to make Florida's mini-season look tame. In addition to the Coast Guard's warnings I would like to add a saying by Bill Holzer. Divers die due to greed or arrogance. Please be careful out there. That last lobster isn't worth you last few psi.
     

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