HUNTER, Walter Norris (1960-1995)[SS#527-59-3336], Oklahoma-born tourist from Arizona who drowned while diving off a Truth Aquatics charter dive trip aboard Truth out of Santa Barbara on November 25, 1995. Diving was off East Point, Santa Rosa Island. Hunter was 35 years old.
In the News~
November 26, 1995 [LAT]: “A 35-year-old Arizona man on holiday in Santa Barbara drowned Saturday while scuba diving in the Channel Islands, according to the Ventura County medical examiner's office. Walter Hunter of Scottsdale was one of about 20 people on a daylong diving trip run by Truth Aquatics, according to officials with the Santa Barbara-based charter service. Hunter, who was visiting friends in Santa Barbara for the Thanksgiving holiday, set out with his companions on the vessel Truth about 4 a.m. Saturday, according to company officials. About 8:35 a.m., when the divers were scheduled to resurface at the boat, the tour operators noticed that Hunter was missing, according to Craig Stevens, a Ventura County senior deputy coroner. The divers were using the buddy system, but Hunter's partner had returned to the boat after having problems with his weight belt, a company official said. Hunter, a certified scuba diver, continued the dive by himself. When he failed to surface, rescue divers from Truth Aquatics and the Coast Guard began searching for Hunter. About 9:05 a.m., divers from Truth Aquatics found Hunter's body floating in about 100 feet of water off the east point of Santa Rosa Island, said Eric De Jager, a Coast Guard officer. Rescuers tried to resuscitate Hunter, but he was not breathing and had no pulse, De Jager said. After being taken by helicopter to Los Robles Medical Center, Hunter was pronounced dead about 11 a.m. An autopsy will be performed today, Stevens said. Hunter had been scheduled to fly home to Arizona tonight. In the past 10 years, scuba-diving accidents have resulted in four deaths in Ventura County. In Los Angeles County, four divers have drowned while diving off the coast.”