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Whale-watching trip for schoolchildren turns up dead body off Redondo Beach

Passengers on the Voyager enjoy a close encounter with killer whales in this file photo.

What began as a hopeful day of whale watching turned grim this morning for scores of children aboard the Voyager out of Redondo Sportfishing, as the first discovery outside the harbor was of the body of a woman floating face-down.

Capt. Allan Price stayed with the apparent suicide victim, about a quarter-mile southwest of the harbor entrance, until Baywatch and harbor patrol crews arrived, then resumed a field trip that treated grade-school students and some of their teachers to sightings of whales and dolphins.

"One of the teachers told me the kids were doing fine," said Dee DeVore, who with her husband owns Redondo Sportfishing. "They even had a moment of silence for the woman."

Price was aboard the Voyager for its afternoon run and was not immediately available for comment. DeVore said the woman, confirmed by police to be a 37-year-old Asian, jumped off the same vessel last month and had to be rescued.

Landing personnel were given a photograph of the woman and told not to let her on any of its boats.

Mike Strosnider, a detective with the Redondo Beach Police Department, said the body was discovered at 10:15 a.m. Strosnider would not identify the woman pending notification of family members. Nor would he speculate how she entered the ocean.

The detective said the woman appeared to have been in the water between two and four hours.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Passengers on the Voyager enjoy a close encounter with killer whales in this file photo. Credit: Alisa Schulman-Janiger

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Comments (4)

On March 23, 2009 a body was discovered floating out of the Redondo Beach harbor a few miles out to the ocean the tour guide had thought to see something floating in the water see thought it was a seal on it back to discover it was a body. The parent that posted a message is right it was because of seeing the body your son , JANET didnt throw up about that it was the boat bobbing. Other than that we had a goog trip and safe recovery back to the harbor. I'm truely sorry about what happened.

I too was aboard the Voyager the day the body was discovered. And Janet, you may want to discuss w/ your child again as to what happened. The "tour guide" was the first one to notice the body, not a student (and per the article- these were not 3rd graders, but middle school students). The "tour guide" stated "I see something on the right side of the boat - I wonder what it is?". When she realized that it was a body, she tried to divert the students away, but they all stayed on the right side of the boat to see. Many of them with their camera's and video camera's in hand. The Voyager stayed until the Harbor Patrol arrived, but it DID NOT continue on the trip once they arrived as the article stated. The Voyager stayed until the body was retrieved onto the Harbor Patrol boat and it was headed back to the marina. At that time, many of the students on the Voyager proceeded to get out their cell phones and call their friends at school. You would not believe the stories that were told once we arrived back. Yes, the "tour guide" held a moment of silence for the person who was found. And as far as your child being ill, I can guarantee that IT WAS NOT due to seeing the body, but due to the bobbing up and down of the boat. Almost half off all the kids (adults included) on board were vomitting.

Hello, My name is Janett, the mother of student whale watching when he discovered body floating. at first he though it was a bulge of clothes floating but as boat got closer he shouted oh my god a body twice until he fellow student friends confirmed and finally then was brough to the captains attention. My son could not sleep all night after throwing up all along the trip but finally I told him sweetie thanks to you she could now be with her family and could have a better place to rest.

i was on that ship the week before. I feel so horrible. I wish there was something that could have been done to prevent this from happening. This is really sad.


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