Remains of diver recovered off Santa Cruz Island
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY – The Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau is investigating the death of a diver who was recovered from the waters near Painted Cave Preserve on Santa Cruz Island.
The location of the recovery corresponds to a missing diver investigation from 2020; however the final determination of the decedent’s identity requires a Coroner’s investigation.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible decedent observed near the ocean floor in an underwater cave system by two recreational divers.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Search and Recovery Team began planning for a recovery operation in the area and reached out to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Unit and the National Park Service for assistance.
On Friday, Nov. 11, the Sheriff’s Office and allied agency divers responded to the area of Seal Cove where they successfully recovered the remains of a diver from the underwater cave.
The decedent was transported to the Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau for further investigation and identification determination.
Coroner’s detectives plan on utilizing rapid DNA to confirm the identity of the decedent with anticipated completion next week. The Sheriff’s Office will share the decedent’s identity when it is confirmed, and the next-of-kin have been notified.
– Neil Hartstein
CHP implementing road safety program
BUELLTON, Calif. – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Buellton Area is implementing a 12-month, joint regional effort enforcement and educational campaign to save lives and remove unsafe drivers from State Route 1 (SR-1, Cabrillo Highway), State Route -154 (SR-154, San Marcos Pass) and US-101 (El Camino Real).
The CHP Buellton and Santa Barbara Area offices will use a federal grant to accomplish this mission.
The Safe on All Roads (SOAR) campaign began Oct. 1, and will end on Sept. 30, 2023.
In addition to providing a scenic route to numerous attractions along the coast, SR-1, SR-154 and US-101 serve as major commuter routes between cities within Santa Barbara County.
SR-1 predominately has one lane in each direction. US-101 intermittently switches between freeway and highway status, and closely follows the Pacific coastline as it travels through Santa Barbara County. State Route-154, a narrow two-lane mountainous roadway with sheer cliffs, sharp curves and grades, provides continual challenges for all motorists, especially commercial vehicles.
Between federal fiscal years 2018 and 2020, there were 1,758 reportable (fatal and injury) crashes occurring within the CHP Buellton and Santa Barbara areas. Of the total reportable crashes during this period, approximately 1,348 of those crashes indicated driving under the influence (DUI), speed, unsafe turning and unsafe passing as the primary crash factor, resulting in 43 persons killed and 1,831 injured.
Officers will conduct enhanced enforcement patrols throughout SR-1 (Cabrillo Highway), SR-154 (San Marcos Pass), and US-101 (El Camino Real) within CHP Buellton and CHP Santa Barbara’s jurisdictions, focusing on the leading causes of fatal and injury crashes: speeding, DUI, unsafe turning and unsafe passing violations.
The “SOAR” campaign will also incorporate a public education and awareness campaign to reinforce the safe driving message.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
– Neil Hartstein