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Diver Identified
updated: Feb 02, 2013, 2:58 PM


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroner's Bureau has positively identified the body of a diver who was found on the north side of Santa Cruz Island around 4:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. He is 59-year-old William Arlo Ooms of Solvang.

Ooms was reported missing several hours earlier, around 12:20 p.m. by a group he was with on the 22-foot-dive boat "Coram Deo" based in the Santa Barbara Harbor. The U.S. Coast Guard responded and flew in divers from Los Angeles County to assist in the search. The group that reported Ooms missing continued to search as well and ultimately found him.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroners Bureau is conducting an investigation into the cause and manner of death. A final report is not expected for several weeks.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 370402P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 02:04 AM

What happened to the "buddy system" in diving? Diving off the Channel Islands claims a lot of lives, it seems.


 COMMENT 370410 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 06:32 AM

Not a lot relative to # of divers and risk of activity. Driving is more dangerous, subject to others mistakes.


 COMMENT 370438 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 08:22 AM

"There's old divers,
and bold divers,
but there's no old bold divers."

Respect the sea.


 COMMENT 370483P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 12:34 PM

Where was this guy's buddy? The first thing you are taught when you take your first dive and always demanded by good dive operators is that you never dive without a buddy.


 COMMENT 370646 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 10:31 AM

I have been a diver for many years. There are buddies and there are buddies. Some get very complacent and don't stay within a nearby perimeter. There are some who can be distracted easily. I was married to one with whom I often dived and I had an experience in those same waters where kelp ripped off my weight belt and my mask at the same time -- my buddy was nowhere to be found as I struggled. Fortunately, my training was excellent and I didn't panic, so I survived. (And really chewed out my buddy when we surfaced.)

No matter how you prepare in advance, stuff happens and its how you deal with it when it does that makes the difference between surviving or not. I've done over 100 dives in lots of places and I just returned from a glorious trip where I dived seven times in 11 days. I'm careful. I'm cautious and because I am, I feel safe.

I've heard about people having a heart attack while diving -- I guess if you're going to have one, there couldn't be a more wondrous, beautiful place to have it happen. I'd rather it be there than anywhere.


 COMMENT 370651 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 10:44 AM

Among freedivers, almost no one dives in close proximity to a buddy. The article says nothing about SCUBA.


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