La Jolla

44-year-old man dies while scuba diving at La Jolla Cove

It was the second death of a diver in the cove in as many months

NBC Universal, Inc.

Last Sunday, 44-year-old Jared Schreck joined a group of scuba divers at La Jolla Cove, but he didn’t make it back to the beach alive.

According to the medical examiner’s report, the divers surfaced without any signs of distress, but moments, later the group of divers noticed Schreck disappeared.

That’s when the search for Schreck began.

What happened to Schreck is a rare occurrence at La Jolla Cove, wheredivers from all around the world come to explore its beauty and wonder.

“Jacques Cousteau called the Southern California coast one of the most beautiful places in the world to dive,” diving instructor Julian Halton told NBC 7 on Wednesday, adding later, “we have a wonderful kelp forest, and we have seal ions and we have very diverse marine life.”id.

Halton was out in the ocean Sunday giving a diving tour when a lifeguard notified him of the search. Schreck was later found submerged without his regulator in place.  

“Life is beautiful, and life can also be tragic," Halton said. "The reality is that anything that can happen on the surface can happen underwater at any time."

According to the medical examiner, Shreck had a heart attack and was pulled to shore, where lifeguards and paramedics tried to resuscitate him.

“If you have a cardiac event or a stroke underwater, you’re going to lose consciousness and become nonresponsive," Halton said. "Very, very simple for your regulator to fall out of your mouth."

Halton said preparation and awareness are key in mitigating risk, but sometimes tragedy is simply unpredictable.

“Even if you do everything right, one of the tragic parts of our lives is we never know what can happen,” he said.

Halton recommends doing a risk assessment before scuba diving to determine whether you're physically and mentally ready to take on the activity.

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