Diver, 24, Dies; Cause of Death Undetermined

A 24-year-old North Hollywood man who passed out while scuba diving off Santa Catalina Island has died, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said.

Rufus Perrison was pronounced dead at 12:29 a.m. Sunday at a medical facility on the island, said coroner's spokesman Scott Carrier.

Perrison was on a chartered dive boat off Farnsworth Bank when the incident occurred, Carrier said.

It did not appear that he had run out of oxygen, Carrier said.

He was transferred by Coast Guard helicopter to a special facility on the island, where he was treated in a hyperbaric chamber but later died.

Sheriff's Deputy Michael Sambolich said it will take six to eight weeks to determine the cause of death. Perrison had been diving for about a year, he said.

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