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Remains of diver recovered from underwater cave in Channel Islands

Raquel Zick
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
The remains of a diver have been recovered from an underwater cave in the Channel Islands.

DNA testing underway to see if remains might be those of man who disappeared off of Santa Cruz Island in November of 2020.

Authorities think they may have solved the mystery of the disappearance of a diver in the Channel Islands nearly two years ago.

In November of 2020, two divers were fishing for lobster off of Santa Cruz Island. When one failed to return to the surface, the other called the Coast Guard for help. But, an extensive air and sea search failed to turn up any sign of Ryder Sturt.

On November 5th of this month, some recreational divers spotted what they thought might be a body in some underwater caves at the island. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Search and Rescue Team reached out to LA and San Luis Obispo County teams for help.

The body was recovered this week. The Ventura County Coroner’s Bureau is now using DNA testing to try to see if the remains recovered are those of the missing diver, or perhaps someone else.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.