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Metro Digest / Local News in Brief

Catalina Diving Accident Kills Woman

July 20, 1991

A 22-year-old Chatsworth woman died Friday in a scuba diving accident off Santa Catalina Island, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported.

The woman, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was a student diver on a boat operated by Ventura Dive & Sport diving school, Deputy Douglas Miller said.

Five other student divers and two teachers were swimming from a vessel called Peace in 100 feet of water about 10 a.m. in an area called Farnsworth Bank, Sgt. Bob Wachsmuth said.

The area is about two miles south of the west end of Santa Catalina Island.

When the rest of the group surfaced, they noticed the woman was missing, Wachsmuth said.

The others then submerged and found her unconscious on the ocean floor.

She was taken to the County-USC Hyperbaric Dive Chamber on the island, where she was treated for decompression illness and pronounced dead at 1 p.m., Wachsmuth said.

The banks are a very popular dive spot frequently used to teach novice divers, Wachsmuth said.

Deputy Hal Grant said the circumstances of her death would be investigated by the Sheriff's Department and the Coast Guard.

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