A 50-year-old man was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the diving death of a man near Catalina Island.
Craig Lightner of San Pedro pleaded guilty July 8 to one felony count of involuntary manslaughter.
Lightner and the victim, 47-year-old Mark Rascon, took a boat to Catalina Island on July 27, 2013, to catch Blue Banded Goby fish, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Taking the fish from around the island is illegal under California law.
Lightner supplied unsafe air hoses and breathing regulators for use during the dive and failed to show Rascon how to properly use the gear, prosecutors said.
Officials speculate that kelp snarled around Rascon’s breathing equipment. Instead of helping Rascon, Lightner called the Coast Guard to report a missing diver.
When the Coast Guard arrived, they found Rascon dead in 80 feet of water. His death was caused by drowning due to an embolism.
— City News Service
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