BUTSCHER, Wayne

From Islapedia


BUTSCHER, Wayne (1952-1980) [SS#280-52-8469], 28, was one of a group of four scuba diving friends who drowned at Catalina on November 8:




In the News~

November 10, 1980 [Santa Cruz Sentinel]: “Avalon — Authorities are investigating the cause of a weekend mishap that killed three scuba divers and critically injured a fourth during a pleasure cruise off Catalina Island. “We don't know what happened,” Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Ralph Martin said Sunday. “We don't know if they got their bottles of air at the same place, or if the air was bad, or if they were just more amateur than professional.” The body of the third victim, Hyrum Mortensen, 26, of Simi Valley, was found Sunday by members of the Los Angeles County Emergency Services Detail after a 24-hour search. The other victims were Barbara Norwick, 23, and Wayne Butscher, 28, both of Santa Monica. Mortensen's brother, Marty, 25, was critically injured and transferred Saturday night to County USC Medical Center after treatment in a compression chamber. All three bodies were found at the bottom of a 120-foot deep reef, Martin said. Darkness and fog hampered the search Saturday for Hyrum Mortensen. The four divers were part of a 25-member group of pleasure divers which had chartered the 71-foot craft, Charisma, and dove in 90-feet-deep water Saturday in Farnsworth Reef, five miles off Catalina Island, authorities said. The first signs of trouble were noted late Saturday morning when a head count showed the four missing, Marty said. Marty Mortensen was found floating at the surface shortly thereafter and was pulled unconscious from the water.”


November 10, 1980 [Desert Sun]: “Third body found. Avalon — Authorities are investigating the cause of a weekend mishap that killed three scuba divers and critically injured a fourth during a pleasure cruise off Catalina Island. “We don't know what happened,” Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Ralph Martin said Sunday. “We don't know if they got their bottles of air at the same place, or if the air was bad, or if they were just more amateur than professional.” The body of the third victim, Hyrum Mortensen, 26, of Simi Valley, was found Sunday by members of the Los Angeles County Emergency Services Detail after a 24-hour search. The other victims were Barbara Norwick, 23, and Wayne Butscher, 28, both of Santa Monica.

November 11, 1980 [UPI]: “Los Angeles — A fourth member of a scuba diving group that encountered difficulty off the coast of Santa Catalina Island during the weekend died Monday night at County-University of Southern California Medical Center. The coroner's office said an autopsy would be performed on the body of Marty Mortensen, 26, of Simi Valley, to determine the cause of death. Mortensen and his brother Hyrum, 25, were scuba diving Saturday when they encountered problems that proved fatal. Two others in the diving group, Wayne Butscher and Barbara Norwick, both 28 and from Santa Monica, also died in the accident. The bodies of the Santa Monica couple and Hyrum Mortensen were found about 150 apart in water where the lateral visibility was 75 feet, leading a sheriff's department investigator to doubt that one diving team had responded to a sign of trouble from the other and had apparently encountered unrelated problems.”


November 12, 1980 [LAT]: “Los Angeles —Scuba diver Marty Mortensen, 26 of Simi Valley has died in County USC Medical Center last week that also took the lives of his brother, Hyrum, 25, and Barbara Norwick and Wayne Butscher, both 28. Laboratory tests are being made by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office to determine the exact cause of their deaths.”