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N.Y. man is second diver to die off Laguna Beach in seven weeks

Autopsy: Shaw’s Cove diver drowned
A scuba diver died after being found unconscious Saturday at Shaw’s Cove in Laguna Beach, pictured. His death was ruled a drowning.
(File Photo)

A scuba diver died after being found floating unconscious in the water off Laguna Beach, authorities said.

The Orange County coroner’s office identified the man as Joseph Noah, 57, of Forestport, N.Y.

Noah was discovered by three other divers Saturday at Shaw’s Cove, a small beach at the base of Fairview Street that is popular for swimming, body boarding, scuba diving and skin diving.

Lifeguards responded to a 911 call at 8:56 a.m. and saw the diver on the surface about 100 yards from shore as the others were trying to take him to the beach, according to Laguna Beach marine safety Capt. Kai Bond. Lifeguards entered the water and got the diver to shore and administered CPR, Bond said.


Paramedics took Noah to Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach, where he was pronounced dead at 9:57 a.m., Bond said.

The coroner ruled his death a drowning but also found evidence of coronary artery disease.

“This person was scuba diving by himself ... so it’s very difficult for us to make assumptions as to exactly what happened,” Bond said.

Shaw’s Cove.jpg
Shaw’s Cove is a small beach at the base of Fairview Street in Laguna Beach.
(Bing Maps / Daily Pilot)


Noah is the second diver to die off Laguna Beach in the past seven weeks.

On Sept. 28, Ryan Huff of Lakewood died while free diving at Totuava Beach, a secluded cove between Thousand Steps Beach and Table Rock Beach.

Lilly Nguyen is a Daily Pilot staff writer.

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10:41 AM, Nov. 21, 2019: This article was originally published at 7:41 a.m. and has been updated with additional information.