Body of missing diver recovered in San Onofre State Beach

Surfer at San Onofre State Beach. Dan Stiel/Pixabay

Three days after the local Orange County diver was reported missing, surfers near the beach pulled an unresponsive body from the water

The diver was reported missing on Feb. 13 and recovered in San Onofre on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 16. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office identified the body as 28-year-old Joshua Bouma.

Bouma set out for a late-night diving excursion with a diving partner on the evening of Feb. 13 in Crystal Cove State Park, near El Moro, before they went missing. The diving partner reported Bouma as missing in Laguna Beach at approximately 10 p.m. to Laguna Beach Fire Department, who then relayed the report to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard dispatched a cutter, helicopter, and a 45-foot-long response boat to search for Bouma. The search included three miles of coastline and lasted until 1:20 a.m. and was resumed six hours later. After an 18-hour, 138 square nautical mile search, the Coast Guard suspended the search.

Bouma’s body was discovered 20 miles south of their last known location, in San Onofre State beach. The cause of death has been deemed accidental drowning. San Diego County Medical Examiner’s released a report detailing the discovery of Bouma.

“On the evening of 02/16/2021, surfers near the San Onofre beach saw the decedent in the water not moving and went to render aid,” according to the report. “They were able to pull the decedent to shore and placed a 9-1-1 call. Emergency personnel responded to the scene and the decedent’s death was confirmed.”