Missing diver recovered from Yukon wreckage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Missing diver recovered from Yukon wreckage

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MISSION BEACH (CNS/CBS 8) - The woman's body recovered from the Yukon dive site Sunday has been identified by family members as 26-year-old, Staci Jackson, a Camp Pendleton Marine.

Her body was found in the Yukon, a former Canadian minesweeper that landed on the ocean bottom at an unintended angle, potentially trapping scuba divers, other enthusiasts said.

"We recovered the body about 9:30 a.m. and it has been transported to our operations dock at Mission Bay Lifeguard headquarters," said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum.

The woman's dive partners noticed she was missing when they surfaced Saturday, according to San Diego lifeguards and U.S. Coast Guard personnel, who helped recover the body.

The accident was reported about 2:30 p.m., and the body was first spotted by recreational divers at the sunken ship about 4:30 p.m. Because of the fading daylight and rough surface conditions, authorities had planned to recover the body at first light Sunday.

What went wrong was unclear. The woman's name was withheld, as lifeguards could only say she was in her 20s.

David Pierce, director of the San Diego Council of Divers, has dived at the Yukon site and said it presents dangers.

"The ship is actually laying on its side, it did not go down properly," Pierce said. "Because it's on its side, divers can get disoriented in there pretty quickly."

Pierce said he knew of a diving instructor several years ago who got into the engine room of the Yukon, which had been welded shut. That diver got tangled in the wreckage, ran out of air and drowned.

"The bottom of the wreck is 100 feet down and at that depth you might have only 17 minutes of air time down there," Pierce said.

The woman was part of a diving class with four students that was off the motor vessel Humboldt, authorities said.

The depth of the 366-foot Yukon, a Canadian destroyer sunk to form an artificial reef in 2000, ranges from about 55 feet to 100 feet. It and other intentionally scuttled vessels form what divers call "wreck alley."

THIS IS AN UPDATED STORY. For the earlier copy, read below. 


MISSION BEACH (CNS) - The body of a diver missing Saturday was discovered before dark by a search team underwater at the Yukon dive site about a mile and half off the coast.

"She is deceased and she is on board the Yukon underwater," San Diego Lifeguard Lt. John Everhart said. "Recovery will be tomorrow."

Everhart identified the diver as a woman in her 20s.

San Diego Lifeguards and the Coast Guard had been searching for her with boats, a helicopter and a dive team. Everhart said the woman's body was found just before dark about 4:30 p.m.

Lifeguards received a call from a vessel offshore that a diver, who was a student in an advanced class with an instructor, had failed to surface at a designated time and was missing.

The Coast Guard was called in to assist about 2:30 p.m. and they dispatched a helicopter and boats to join in the rescue effort.

The Yukon is a former Canadian Naval vessel that was sunk off Mission Beach to create a popular dive reef.


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