Dive Teams Locate Recreational Boat Underwater

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – At 1220 today, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department dive teams located a recreational vessel on the ocean floor believed to be the Bayliner that missing boaters Henry Sanchez, 51, and Penny Avila, 48, both of Santa Ana, Calif. were reportedly aboard.

A recreational boat fitting the profile of the missing 26-foot Bayliner was found upside down on the ocean floor, 5 miles south of the entrance to the Los Angeles Harbor at a depth of around 150 feet. The dive teams from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Port Police believe the vessel may be the missing Bayliner based on past photos of the boat and the location of the wreck near the suspected collision site.

Later this afternoon, the agencies involved will develop a dive plan and recommence operations on Wednesday morning in an attempt to refloat the hull and pass it on to the Coast Guard as evidence in the investigation.

The continuing investigation has been an ongoing inter-agency response, including the Coast Guard, Los Angeles Port Police, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Long Beach Fire Department, and Los Angeles County Lifeguards. The underwater surveys, led by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, have employed surface vessels, a remotely operated vehicle to survey the ocean floor, sonar technology and divers.

A passing boater first notified the Coast Guard of a debris field 5 miles south of Los Angeles light on October 2. After searching over 300 square miles through the night into October 3, the Coast Guard suspended the search for survivors but has continued its investigation into the facts surrounding the boating accident.

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