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    December 30, 2015

    Female SCUBA Diver Missing Off Of Ship Rock, Catalina Island

    Thank you, Professional Debriefer Paul for bringing these articles to my attention.

    Apparently, a 45 year old woman was diving off of the Sundiver Express on Tuesday at Ship Rock and went missing.

    She was wearing, according to one of the articles, a black wet suit and a white tank.

    Quotes from the two articles, listed below:

    “The diver was reported missing just before noon about three miles away off the island near Ship Rock, an area popular with divers, according to Lifeguard Specialist Lidia Barillas of the Lifeguards Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.”

    “The Coast Guard sent a 45-foot patrol boat, a helicopter and the cutter Narwhal to assist in the search for the woman, whose name was not released.”

    The articles goes on to state that you should never solo dive and to always dive within your limits and have your equipment serviced.

    However, there was no speculation that she was diving alone or comments on her equipment or skill level.

    For those of you who are not familiar with the California diving culture, the Dive Masters do not conduct underwater tours – on any boat that I have been on.

    You simply check out when you jump overboard and check in when you come back; the Dive Master simply accounts for the divers and responds to any emergency on the surface, or reports anyone who doesn’t come back.

    I am not going to speculate, and hope she is found alive and well.

    Original articles are here:

    Search continues for female scuba diver missing off Catalina Island

    Scuba Diver Missing Off Catalina Island

    Update January 1, 2016:

    Search launched for woman diving near Catalina Island

    Authorities searched Thursday for a Tustin woman missing since Tuesday while scuba diving near Catalina Island.

    Laurel Silver-Valker, 45, dove into the waters off Ship Rock looking for lobsters when she disappeared, said Sgt. Dave Carver of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    September 14, 2014

    Storms Rearrange The Terranea Resort Coast

    For the last several weeks, huge waves have been battering the coast from two hurricanes in Mexico.

    I had checked on conditions two weeks ago, and the dive at Terranea Resort was quickly cancelled.

    The only diving around was at Veterans Park – so, I went home.

    Today is another day, and the swell maps gave promise to some good diving.

    Nice Bob and Mike had checked out the conditions and reported, “The Point is do-able as long as you time it right.”

    As long as I time it right?

    Dennis G. asked if I would join him for a dive at the cove.

    I accepted.

    Rocky beach at Terranea
    Huge waves rearranged the rocky beach, pushing many rocks further up, and taking out the staircase.

    I also heard that the path to the Point was washed out.

    Sandy Beach
    There is now a great sandy beach for entry and exit.

    We made an easy entrance and swam out.

    The cove at Terranea
    The new face of the Cove.

    We swam to the rocky finger off of Pigeon Shit Cave and submerged.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #473

    Dove with Dennis G.

    The Cove off of Terranea Resort

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 750 psi
    Max depth: 42 feet
    Waves: Pretty flat
    Visibility: 10 to 15 feet
    Water Temperature: 64 degrees
    Air Temperature: 85 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 44 minutes

    Visibility sort of sucked – like five feet initially, until we got to 120 reef where it opened up to 10 to 15 feet.

    I looked at my camera and noticed a few drops of water inside may case.

    Hmm, it is a little warm for condensation… fuck, my camera housing was flooding!

    The camera was already wet, so turning back would have been useless.

    We surfaced, I opened my camera case, emptied the water and resealed it; that didn’t help any.

    We circled around 120 reef; Dennis broke open several sea urchins to feed the fish.

    It’s nice to see the fish coming back – it was getting real barren a couple of years ago.

    After 35 minutes, we started heading back.

    The water was pretty warm except for a strange cold blast that hit us as we were coming in; it only lasted a few moments.

    There was a group of people at the Cove cheering a swimmer that was approaching the beach.

    “You can do it! Go! Go! You can do it!,” they were cheering.

    A large boat followed; there was a kayaker beside the swimmer.

    We came to find out that the guy had swam all the way from Catalina and had been swimming for the last 11 hours.

    Well, if he started from Catalina and made it this far, I think he’s going to make it.

    He crawled up on the beach and made it to the dry rocks.

    And to top that off, he was 47 years old and fat – I have hope for myself now.

    Thank you Chipper for the following photograph:

    Todays diving group
    Today’s diving group – Randy is kneeling, from the left is Chipper, yours truly, Mike, Eric and Dennis G.

    I dried my camera on the dashboard of my truck during debriefing.

    A couple of people almost got into a fight over parking – I still prefer watching M.M.A. though.

    Camera soaking in alcohol

    At home, I washed my camera in 90% alcohol to wash the salt residue out before putting it in instant rice to leach all the moister out.

    The battery and memory card is still good; if my camera works again, it will be a miracle.

    This is the 3D camera that I have used to document my diving for the last three years – I’m sad to see the probable end to it.

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