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Waters Near Channel Islands Claim 3rd Diver This Month

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A 33-year-old San Francisco man died Monday afternoon while diving near Diablo Point, the third diving fatality to occur off the Channel Islands this month.

Peter Yan had been among 30 passengers aboard the Vision, an 84-foot dive boat based in Santa Barbara, which was completing the final leg of a three-day charter, authorities said.

“At 2:32, we got a distress call regarding a missing diver,” said Petty Officer John Howk of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Howk said the Vision’s crew sent two rescuers underwater to search for Yan, who had been diving without a partner, while a Coast Guard helicopter flew to the island from Los Angeles International Airport.

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The missing diver was located within 15 minutes, lying on the ocean floor inside an underwater cavern. He was unconscious and not breathing, Howk said.

Crew members aboard the Vision began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Yan after he was brought to the surface, Howk said, and he was airlifted to Columbia Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks. Columbia Los Robles has a hyperbaric chamber used to treat decompression sickness, or “the bends,” suffered by divers when they surface too quickly.

Despite efforts to revive Yan, he was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, Howk said.

“The Coast Guard is investigating this incident since it involved a commercial dive charter boat,” Howk said. He added that such investigations are routine, and are conducted by the Coast Guard after any incident involving a commercial vessel.

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A spokeswoman at the Ventura County coroner’s office said an autopsy is scheduled for today.

On Dec. 15, 34-year-old Timothy J. McFadden, a sea urchin diver from Ventura, died after being pulled unconscious from the waters off San Clemente Island.

Huntington Park resident Oscar Urzua, 45, drowned Dec. 1 while diving near Santa Cruz Island.


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