LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Known for her love of diving, authorities say a woman is still missing after allegedly being left behind by a commercial tour boat.
Laurel Silver-Valker, 45, was last seen near Catalina Island Dec. 29 diving for lobster with Sundiver International Tour Boat Co. based in Long Beach.
It’s something her family says she did often.
Silver-Valker’s Facebook photos paint a picture of a mother and a grandmother who for the last decade centered her life around diving, often taking diving trips with her boyfriend.
On Thursday night, her family was too devastated to speak on-camera but her sister told CBS2’s Stacey Butler they’re focused on finding her and remembering the joy she brought to everyone she knew.
This isn’t the first time, however, the company has been accused of leaving someone behind.
Back in 2010, Dan Carlock won a $1.6 million judgment against Sundiver, as well as Ocean Adventures Dive Company out of Venice Beach over allegations he was abandoned floating in the ocean 12 miles off Long Beach.
“A million things went through my head and you know I went through all of the logical things, of course, somebody else must have gotten in trouble. That’s why I’m still out here,” said the Orange County engineer.
The captain of the boat, Ray Arntz, lost his license for a few months. Today, he’s listed as one of two captains on the company’s website.
On Thursday night, Butler spoke with Carlock over the phone.
He was shocked and saddened to hear the news and said he’d hoped the company would have learned from his experience.