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Search for missing diver near Santa Cruz Island turns to recovery operation

Diver search  .jpeg
Posted at 6:09 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 21:18:58-05

The search for a missing diver near Santa Cruz Island is heading into a second night.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the Painted Cave Preserve at around 6:45 p.m. Sunday to reports of a diver who had not surfaced.

The diver has been identified as Ryder Sturt of Port Hueneme.

Sheriff’s officials say he and a dive partner were tank diving for lobster off a boat in the area and when Sturt did not surface, the dive partner radioed for help.

Crews searched overnight for the 34-year-old in the water and from above.

The search continued Monday with search and rescue divers entering the water around 1:30 p.m.

Three hours later, officials say rescue efforts were suspended and the sheriff’s office took over as lead for the search and recovery mission.

The search for Sturt will resume again Tuesday with help from Ventura and Los Angeles County agencies.

The sheriff’s office says foul play is not suspected.