Second body pulled from Avalon Harbor identified

Coroner confirms identities of two men pulled from Avalon Harbor at Catalina Island

A second person who was pulled from the waters off Catalina Island this week after a cold storm unmoored harbor vessels and threw people into the water has been identified.

The body of Bruce Raymond Ryder, 53, was found in Avalon Harbor on Wednesday morning during a search for another man, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Ryder’s body was found about 7:30 a.m. A few hours later, the body of Timothy Douglas Mitchell, 39, was also found. Mitchell was a harbor patrol assistant who’d disappeared in the sea the night before while trying to get to shore from a boat about to run aground.

Mitchell ended up pinned between a boat and the rocks where crews were unable to save him.

The vessel and its owners were special to Mitchell, Avalon city officials said in a news release. He had worked as a dive instructor at ScubaLuv, home of the King Neptune, according to Harbor Master Brian Bray, and was a "second father" to the children of owners Bob and Tina Kennedy.

Mitchell was a native of New Zealand and a recently naturalized U.S. citizen, the city said. He joined the Harbor Patrol in May but had been a reserve firefighter on Catalina for five years and a dive instructor for 10.

Autopsies for Ryder and Mitchell to determine their cause of death are pending. There were reports of a third person missing in the harbor Wednesday but no one was ever found, authorities said.

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