Search Continues for Diver Missing off Santa Cruz Island

Ryder Sturt, 34, Failed to Surface Sunday Evening

Photo of Ryder Sturt | Credit: Courtesy of Sturt's Facebook Page

The search continues for a missing diver who failed to surface Sunday evening near Santa Cruz Island. Officials say 34-year-old Ryder Sturt of Port Hueneme had been tank diving for lobster with a partner from a 20-foot recreational boat in the area of Painted Cave. When the partner surfaced at around 6:45 p.m. and Sturt did not, the partner radioed for help.

A Coast Guard cutter initially responded to the call and searched the waters off Santa Cruz overnight. Monday morning, while the Coast Guard continued its efforts, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office sent a helicopter to look from the air and dispatched its Underwater Search and Recovery Team. 


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After a full day of scouring the area, however, Sturt could not be located. 

“At approximately 5 p.m., rescue efforts were suspended and command was transferred to the Sheriff’s Office for search and recovery,” said Sheriff’s spokesperson Raquel Zick. “This incident does not appear suspicious in nature.”


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