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

March 25, 2009 |  3:13 pm

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