The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office effort to recover the body of a diver found near Santa Cruz Island was assisted by the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Unit, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, and National Park Service.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office effort to recover the body of a diver found near Santa Cruz Island was assisted by the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Unit, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, and National Park Service.  (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office photo)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau has recovered the body of a diver near Santa Cruz Island who is believed to be that of a man who went missing during a 2020 dive trip.

The deceased diver was discovered near Santa Cruz Island on Nov. 5 near Painted Cave Preserve, and the location corresponds to the 2020 investigation into missing diver Ryder Sturt, 34, of Port Hueneme, according to the Coroner’s Bureau.

Coroner’s detectives will do rapid DNA testing to confirm the identity, spokeswoman Raquel Zick said Monday.

She said the decedent’s name would be shared when it is confirmed and next of kin are notified. 

Two recreational divers discovered the body in an underwater cave system on Nov. 5 and notified the Sheriff’s Office, Zick said.

Divers are seen near the mouth of a cave during the recovery of a diver’s body Friday.

Divers are seen near the mouth of a cave during the recovery of a diver’s body Friday.  (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office photo)

Divers from the county’s Underwater Search and Rescue team and other agencies recovered the remains from an underwater cave near Seal Cove on Friday, she said.

Sturt went missing while tank diving for lobster on Nov. 29, 2020.

He was diving with a partner on that day and when he failed to surface, the dive partner radioed for help.

The Coast Guard and dive teams from Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties searched the area for several days.

When ocean conditions got rough, Santa Barbara County’s Sheriff’s Office continued the search for several more days from the air with a helicopter.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com.