YAN, Peter

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YAN, Peter K. (1963-1996), diver who drowned at Santa Cruz Island on December 30, 1996 while on a dive trip aboard the VIsion out of Santa Barbara Harbor. Yan was 33 years old.

In the News~

December 31, 1996 [LAT]: “Waters near Channel Islands claim third diver this month. A 33-year-old San Francisco man died Monday afternoon while diving near Diablo Point, the third diving fatality to occur off the Channel Islands this month. Peter Yan had been among 30 passengers aboard the Vision, an 84-foot dive boat based in Santa Barbara, which was completing the final leg of a three-day charter, authorities said. "At 2:32, we got a distress call regarding a missing diver," said Petty Officer John Howk of the U.S. Coast Guard. Howk said the Vision's crew sent two rescuers underwater to search for Yan, who had been diving without a partner, while a Coast Guard helicopter flew to the island from Los Angeles International Airport. The missing diver was located within fifteen minutes, lying on the ocean floor inside an underwater cavern. He was unconscious and not breathing, Howk said. Crew members aboard the Vision began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Yan after he was brought to the surface, Howk said, and he was airlifted to Columbia Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks. Columbia Los Robles has a hyperbaric chamber used to treat decompression sickness, or "the bends," suffered by divers when they surface too quickly. Despite efforts to revive Yan, he was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, Howk said. "The Coast Guard is investigating this incident since it involved a commercial dive charter boat," Howk said. He added that such investigations are routine, and are conducted by the Coast Guard after any incident involving a commercial vessel. A spokeswoman at the Ventura County coroner's office said an autopsy is scheduled for today. On Dec. 15, 34-year-old Timothy J. McFadden, a sea urchin diver from Ventura, died after being pulled unconscious from the waters off San Clemente Island. Huntington Park resident Oscar Urzua, 45, drowned Dec. 1 while diving near Santa Cruz Island. ”

January 1, 1997 [SFGate]: “A popular San Francisco school administrator died Monday in a diving accident off the Southern California coast. Peter Yan, the 33-year-old assistant principal at Lincoln High School, was found unconscious in an underwater cavern off the Channel Islands. His oxygen tank was empty. He was among 30 passengers on a three-day chartered dive boat trip. He was diving without a partner near Diablo Point when he was reported missing at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer John Howk. After receiving the distress call, Coast Guard crews flew out to help two members of the boat's crew who were looking for Yan. He was found within 15 minutes on the ocean floor inside an underwater cavern. He was unconscious and not breathing, Howk said. He was airlifted to a Thousand Oaks hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

January 3, 1997 [SFGate]: “A memorial service will be held Sunday for Lincoln High School volleyball coach and assistant principal Peter Yan, who drowned in the Pacific Ocean earlier this week while scuba diving in the Channel Islands off Ventura. He was 33. The Coast Guard found Mr. Yan's body in an underwater cave. Mr. Yan was one of the few school administrators who was also a coach, having guided Lincoln to three city volleyball championships, two boys and one girls in 1994 and 1995. Boys volleyball in The City began only two years ago, after Mr. Yan persuaded School Superintendent Bill Rojas and the Board of Education to finance the sport. His first coaching stint was junior varsity football assistant at Washington High. Mr. Yan graduated in 1982 from Galileo High, where he received the John F. Kennedy Memorial Leadership Award and was senior class president. He attended UC-Berkeley, where he majored in mathematics. He began student-teaching at Washington High in 1987 and was hired there the following year. Gwen Chan, then assistant principal of curriculum at Washington, took him under her tutelage and four years later brought him to Lincoln when she became principal. "I groomed him for administration, recognizing his capabilities. In a very short time he proved himself and became assistant principal (in the fall of 1995) and gained the respect of all who knew him," she said. "He was loved by the district craftsmen right on down to our school custodians. He was right on target in becoming a principal some day." Mr. Yan is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dot Sun Yan; brothers Dr. James Yan and Paul Yan; and sisters Jane Chee and Susan Hom, all of San Francisco. Sunday's memorial service will be at 1 p.m. at Ashley and McMullen Chapel, 4200 Geary Blvd. at Sixth Avenue. There will be a prayer hour on Saturday at 6 p.m. The family suggests that contributions be sent to the Peter Yan Memorial Scholarship Fund at Lincoln High. Donations can be sent c / o Lincoln High, 2162 24th Ave., San Francisco CA 94116.”