City News Service

Diver Found Off Palos Verdes Coast ID'd

The coroner's office on Sunday publicly identified a 40-year-old Redondo Beach man whose body was found after he went missing while free-diving off the coast of Palos Verdes.

The body of Taras Alexander Poznik was found at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday about a mile off the Palos Verdes Peninsula in nearly 50-foot deep water, officials said.

An investigation surrounding the circumstances of the diver's initial disappearance was ongoing, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The initial search began at about 8:20 p.m. Friday near 1308 Palos Verdes Drive West, when the owner of a boat the diver had borrowed called the county fire department, L.A. County Lifeguard Capt. Kenichi Haskett said.

"The boat was docked in King Harbor in Redondo Beach and he called our Hermosa Beach lifeguard station to report it being overdue," Haskett said.

"He told us he had given it to a man on Thursday, who wanted to do some diving offshore."

Haskett said the county lifeguards then notified the U.S. Coast Guard and began searching for the missing man and the boat.

"We found the boat, an 18-foot motorboat, about a mile offshore near Palos Verdes," he continued. "We also found a red buoy in the water by the boat."

The fire department sent two divers into the water where the buoy was located, but Haskett said visibility was very limited and they couldn't find the diver. The boat was towed back to the harbor, he said.

The search resumed at 8 a.m. Saturday and a helicopter was brought in to help.

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