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Missing female diver recovered from Yukon wreckage on bottom of ocean said to be Camp Pendleton Marine

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
Issue 48, Volume 16.
David Schwab
Special to the Village/Valley News

MISSION BEACH - The body of a woman scuba diver was recovered today from a ship that was sunk off Mission Beach as a tourist attraction, and family members said she was a Camp Pendleton Marine.

NBC San Diego reported that a family member came forward to identify the stricken diver as Staci Jackson, 26, who was a Marine at Camp Pendleton for the last 2-1/2 years. The station said Jackson was a Philadelphia native.

Her body was found in the Yukon, a former Canadian minesweeper that landed on the ocean bottom at an unintended angle, potentially trapping scuba divers, other enthusiasts said.

"We recovered the body about 9:30 a.m. and it has been transported to our operations dock at Mission Bay Lifeguard headquarters," said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum.

The woman's dive partners noticed she was missing when they surfaced Saturday, according to San Diego lifeguards and U.S. Coast Guard personnel, who helped recover the body.

The accident was reported about 2:30 p.m., and the body was first spotted by recreational divers at the sunken ship about 4:30 p.m. Because of the fading daylight and rough Advertisement
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surface conditions, authorities had planned to recover the body at first light today.

What went wrong was unclear.

David Pierce, director of the San Diego Council of Divers, has dived the Yukon site and said it presents dangers.

"The ship is actually laying on its side, it did not go down properly," Pierce said. "Because it's on its side, divers can get disoriented in there pretty quickly."

Pierce said he knew of a diving instructor several years ago who got into the engine room of the Yukon, which had been welded shut. That diver got tangled in the wreckage, ran out of air and drowned.

"The bottom of the wreck is 100 feet down and at that depth you might have only 17 minutes of air time down there," Pierce said.

The woman was part of a diving class with four students that was off the motor vessel Humboldt, authorities said.

The depth of the 366-foot Yukon, a Canadian destroyer sunk to form an artificial reef in 2000, ranges from about 55 feet to 100 feet. It and other intentionally scuttled vessels form what divers call "wreck alley."



Comment Profile Imagemarinewife
Comment #1 | Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm
My heart goes out to the family.
Comment Profile ImageJulie Jackson
Comment #2 | Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm
I will miss you neice. Lets find out what exactly happen to her during this scuba outting.
Comment Profile ImageAshley Aamold
Comment #3 | Thursday, Dec 6, 2012 at 11:43 am
I'll miss your crazy butt, Staci... You were a great friend and an amazing person.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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