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Abandoned scuba diver receives $1.68 million in damages

October 25, 2010 | 11:29 am

A scuba diver who was abandoned in the Pacific Ocean during a 2004 dive trip has been awarded
$1.68 million in damages after a five-year legal battle against Venice-based Ocean Adventures Dive Co. and Long Beach-based Sundiver Charters.

Times staff writer Margot Roosevelt reports that Daniel Carlock, an aerospace engineer from Santa Monica, received the award Friday by a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury. The jury assessed total damages in the negligence suit at $2 million, but reduced Carlock's award on the grounds that he was partly responsible because he had been told to surface closer to the boat.

"I had this feeling my spirit was getting ready to vacate my body," Carlock told Roosevelt when speaking of the incident, adding that he prayed to God not to let him die after he was abandoned floating in the ocean 12 miles off Long Beach by leaders of a scuba diving excursion.

After nearly five hours in the ocean, Carlock was finally rescued seven miles off Newport Beach by the Argus, a tall ship carrying a group of Boy Scouts, after he was spotted by a 15-year-old Scout who happened to be looking through binoculars. At first, the Scout thought he was seeing a piece of trash in the distance.

Roosevelt's full article can be read here: "Engineer wins $1.68 million in scuba diving case."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Daniel Carlock has been awarded $1.68 million in damages after a five-year legal battle arising from his being abandoned in the ocean on a scuba diving excursion in 2004. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times