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Local News

Diver Found Dead Near Santa Cruz Was Solvang Man

The body of a 59-year-old diver was found on the north side of Santa Cruz Island on Friday afternoon, several hours after he was reported missing, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The diver was identified as William Arlo “Bill” Ooms of Solvang, according to a statement released Saturday by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The victim was part of a group aboard the 22-foot Coram Deo out of Santa Barbara Harbor, said Coast Guard Lt. Jennifer Osburn.

Ooms, who originally was reported to be 50 years old, disappeared at about 12:20 p.m. Friday, Osburn said, and was located by fellow snorkelers from the Coram Deo at 4:15 p.m.

Divers from Los Angeles County and two U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats retrieved Ooms’ body, which was taken to Channel Islands Harbor, where he was pronounced dead, Osburn said.

The search involved personnel from the National Park Service, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, two Coast Guard helicopter crews and several Coast Guard vessels.

“The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroners Bureau is conducting an investigation into the cause and manner of death,” Hoover said. “A final report is not expected for several weeks.”

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