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Scuba diver abandoned in ocean gets $1.68-million settlement

October 24, 2010 | 11:59 am

Victory for a scuba diver

Daniel Carlock, a Santa Monica aerospace engineer, 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, surrounded by thick fog, "I had this feeling my spirit was getting ready to vacate my body," he recalled.

On Friday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury awarded Carlock $1.68 million in damages in his five-year legal battle against Venice-based Ocean Adventures Dive Co. and Long Beach-based Sundiver Charters.

The jury heard testimony that Carlock, who was 45 at the time of the 2004 incident, had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and developed skin cancer from exposure.

"It has been an ordeal," he said as he celebrated at a Newport Beach restaurant with his wife, Anne. "But I wanted to seek changes in the scuba industry. Others will benefit."

Read more: "Engineer wins $1.68 million in scuba diving case."

-- Margot Roosevelt

Photo: Daniel Carlock, shown in Corona del Mar, 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. His ordeal attracted international attention. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times