THOUSAND OAKS : 2 Divers Treated for Too-Rapid Ascent

Two men were airlifted to a Thousand Oaks hospital Sunday for treatment of decompression illness after they rose to the ocean’s surface too quickly during a deep-sea dive off of Anacapa Island, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

Casey O’Brian and Bobby Cape were in guarded condition Sunday at Los Robles Regional Medical Center where they were treated in the hyperbaric chamber, a nursing supervisor said.

“It is oxygen under pressure, so the bubbles in their blood system will dissolve. Their prognosis is good,” said the nursing supervisor who declined to be identified.

The two Bakersfield men were diving from the commercial vessel Chieftain, believed to dock in Santa Barbara, when the accident occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m. Sunday. It was the first dive for at least one of the men, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Liz Brannan.


“They radioed that one man had come to the surface too quickly and was unconscious and not breathing,” she said. “They started CPR and got his vital signs stabilized.”

A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched from Long Beach to the Chieftain, which was in Ventura County waters. Soon afterward, the boat radioed again, saying a second man was experiencing pain in his shoulders and elbows, also symptoms of decompression illness.