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Scuba Diver Died From ‘the Bends’

A scuba diver who died after surfacing too quickly in the waters off San Clemente Island Saturday was the victim of air embolus, commonly known as “the bends,” a Los Angeles County deputy coroner said Monday.

“She just came up too fast,” Dr. Dean Gilmour said following a preliminary autopsy of Grace Hempsteed, 38, adding that air bubbles formed in her bloodstream as the result of the sudden pressure change. He said he did not know how deep she had been diving.

Officials said that Hempsteed was a Canadian citizen who had been staying with friends in Newport Beach. The case is listed as an accident but is still under investigation.


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