On the morning of Sunday, January 16th, a search spawned after a recreational diver went missing near the Elly oil platform, which is 5 miles offshore from Huntington Beach in California.
The platform has become a popular commercial diving spot given the vibrant marine life that surrounds it. However, in recent times it has also gained the attention of the public following an oil spill that became one of the worst in the state's history.
Theodore Watler was among a group of individuals who hired a commercial vessel to take them out to the platform to dive. At one point, he became separated from the group. Around 10 AM that Sunday, he was reported missing to the US Coast Guard.
The Long Beach Fire Department employed boats, helicopters, and even REVs in the search. A vessel with sonar equipment ultimately detected Watler's body about 250 feet below the surface. This occurred after nearly 5 hours of searching, around 3 PM that day.
It is not clear how Watler became separated from the group nor has the cause of death been determined. Yet, officials had warned of precarious ocean conditions during those days given recent volcanic activity in the South Pacific.
A diving accident may be able to be prevented by proper safety procedures being taken. Sometimes though, even following all of these rules can result in an incident occurring that leaves divers injured or dead. If this occurs, the dive company providing services to them may be held liable for any injuries or damages which occurred because of their negligence.
A diving accident can leave a diver with serious injuries and even result in wrongful death. If a person dies while doing something they enjoy, such as scuba diving, their family may file a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused their loved one's death. A personal injury attorney can explain what options are available for seeking compensation for the possible expenses that will arise from the victim's injury or death and other types of damages following such incidents.
A scuba diver recently sued a resort after being injured during an underwater diving excursion. The man claims he was standing on an underwater ledge known as a drop-off when he lost his balance and plunged off of it into a hollowed-out section of the reef below. He claims he suffered serious injuries to his right leg, foot, and ankle when he hit the reef.
The lawsuit states that there were no warning signs posted at the location indicating that it was extremely dangerous for divers to get close. The lawsuit also claims that had proper safety measures been taken, such as netting or fencing being erected along the drop-off, this accident could have been prevented.
A scuba diving accident can happen even with all due caution being taken by both the diver and dive company who is providing services to them. A lawsuit may be brought against a person or business if negligent actions were committed which directly caused injury or death during a person's dive time.