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SCUBA DIVER DROWNS IN WATER-FILLED SHAFT.

Byline: Harrison Sheppard Staff Writer

LA CRESCENTA - An Arizona man who was scuba diving with his brother in a water-filled mine shaft died Sunday after he was apparently trapped in the shaft and ran out of air, sheriff's officials said.

The 38-year-old man, whose name was not released, was a certified scuba diver with the U.S. Air Force rescue team and had dived in the La Crescenta area before with his brother, a La Crescenta resident, according to Los Angeles County fire inspector Edward Osorio.

The two brothers went down the shaft for a recreational dive around 11 a.m. Sunday, but lost contact at some point during the dive, officials said. The La Crescenta man tried to pull on his brother's tether line, but it was stuck. He then went to the sheriff's station at 1:20 p.m., according to sheriff's Sgt. Walter Wiley.

His brother had 2 1/2 hours of air in his tank.

A diver from the Sheriff's Department found the body at 5:45 p.m., Wiley said.

The shaft - 5 to 6 feet wide, 7 to 8 feet high and 400 to 600 feet long - was dug around 1914 in an attempt to develop a water source for the private property on Shields Street, Osorio said.

The first 200 feet are dry - with the water held in by the material from a past collapse, he said.

Investigators were not certain yet how the diver got stuck in the shaft.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 18, 2000
Words:247
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