California

Multi-Agency Search Continues For Missing Diver Near Santa Cruz Island

34-year-old Ryder Sturt of Port Hueneme was diving for lobster with a dive partner but never surfaced, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

A desperate search for a diver that went missing near Santa Cruz Island Sunday evening continues as search and recovery teams came up empty-handed Monday.

The diver, 34-year-old Ryder Sturt of Port Hueneme was diving for lobster off a 20-foot recreational boat with a dive partner, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. When the second diver surfaced but Sturt did not, that diver called for help.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the Painted Cave Preserve area at about 6:45 p.m. Sunday to search for the diver.

The Newport Beach-based Coast Guard cutter Narwhal assisted with the search off Santa Cruz Island overnight while aircraft searched from above, including the Santa Barbara County Air Support Copter 964, the Sheriff's Office said.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Underwater Search and Recovery Team began dives at about 1:30 p.m. Monday for approximately three hours, according to authorities, but were not able to find Sturt. Rescue efforts were suspended at 5 p.m.

The search will continue on Tuesday with additional agencies responding to help including the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dive Team, Los Angeles Port Police, and the Ventura County Sheriff's Office Dive Team.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says the incident does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

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