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(04-28) 15:55 PDT NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) --


A recreational diver forgotten at sea by a boat crew drifted five hours in the ocean and prayed "God, I don't want to die" before a teenager aboard a century-old tall ship spotted him and fellow Boy Scouts pulled him aboard.


Dan Carlock, 45, was left in the ocean by his scuba diving group Sunday and drifted for hours about seven miles offshore. He noted the time of day on his small, waterproof writing slate and took photographs of himself to document that he'd made it to the surface.


And he worried about how his parents would react to his death.


"God, I don't want to die," he prayed. "I want to be saved. I need your help."


Carlock recalled his Boy Scout survival manual: Stay calm. Think methodically.


The spacecraft engineer for Boeing Satellite Systems and three dive buddies entered the water at about 8:45 a.m. Sunday, but Carlock had problems equalizing the pressure in his ears and he fell behind. He tried following his partners' bubbles, but he lost them.


He decided to end the dive after 15 minutes, but he was 400 feet down current from an oil platform where the boat was anchored. He blew his whistle to attract attention.


"I figured when the dive was over they would realize I was missing and come looking for me," Carlock said.


But they never came. The boat left and headed for a shipwreck site six miles southeast of the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles, Coast Guard Petty Officer Collin Croft said.


Five hours later, crew trainee Zack Mayberry, 15, stood watch on the stern of the tall ship Argus, which was full of Boy Scouts returning to Newport Beach from Santa Catalina Island. The ship had changed course because of heavy fog.


Mayberry saw something in the water and grabbed his binoculars: About 150 yards away, Carlock's head was sticking out of the water. Mayberry handed the binoculars to a friend.


"I wanted to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me," Mayberry said.


The friend agreed someone was helpless in the water.


"Man overboard!" they yelled.


Carlock screamed a joyful "Yeah!" and pumped his fists in excitement.


The San Diego Boy Scout troop had drilled the rescue procedure the previous day and the rescue operation began. A small motorboat was sent to pluck Carlock from the sea and he was brought aboard.


Coast Guard officials Tuesday said they were investigating why Carlock was found 11 miles from the dive location where Ocean Adventures Dive Co. of Marina del Rey reported him missing, Croft said.


Sundiver skipper Ray Arntz reported Carlock missing from the second dive location at 12:03 p.m.


The Coast Guard, the recreational diving instructors, Long Beach lifeguards and Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel searched for Carlock near the second dive location until learning of the rescue by Boy Scouts.


Arntz told officials that dive master Zacharias Araneta had accounted for all the divers before leaving the first location, Croft said. Ocean Adventures Dive Co. owner Steve Ladd said he was trying to figuring out what happened.


Croft said he is determining if safety rules were violated.


"The Scouts definitely saved this man's life," Croft said.


2004 Associated Press



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