The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has taken the lead in the search for a missing diver who vanished while diving near Santa Cruz Island on Sunday evening. According to a news release, the diver, 34-year-old Ryder Sturt of Port Hueneme, went missing sometime in the early evening on Sunday.
At approximately 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the Painted Cave Preserve to begin an immediate search. Mr. Sturt and his dive partner were tank diving for lobster off of a 20-foot recreational boat that was anchored in the area when the U.S. Coast Guard was notified. The USCG cutter Narwal responded to the request for assistance and searched the waters off of Santa Cruz Island overnight while FOB Mug searched from the air.
On Monday, the USCG continued its search with additional vessel and air resources, including Santa Barbara County Air Support Copter 964, which was on its first operational mission.
The search for the missing diver will continue today, according to the news release. Additional agencies will be responding to assist with the search. Those additional agencies include the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dive Team and the Los Angeles Port Police. At approximately 5 p.m. on Monday, rescue efforts were suspended and command was transferred to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office for search and recovery.