The body of a diver was found off La Jolla Shores on Sunday morning.
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An independent diver found the man's body 175 feet below the surface on the ocean floor at about 7:15 a.m., according to city lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum. The body was brought to the surface and lifeguards were called shortly before 8 a.m., he said.
"We responded and observed a (dead) person wearing scuba gear. He had been deceased for a number of days," Lerum said. The scuba gear was missing a weight belt, he said.
The body was taken by rescue boat to a dock in Mission Bay, where the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office took over, he said. Lerum said the Medical Examiner's Office would determine the identity of the body.
The body could be that of 45-year-old Jeffrey May, who disappeared on Memorial Day after visiting La Jolla Shores for a scuba-diving outing. Lerum said they were not aware of any other missing divers.
Capt. Shane Thompson, a technical dive instructor, was the one who found the body and was a member of a private search team who searched for May on Friday.
Thompson, who did not want money or recognition, said he simply wanted to help the family of a fellow diver.
"Little bit of a sad moment of course
it was another human being," said Thompson. "I'm glad that I found him but
sad in one way because you realize he's not with us anymore."
Thompson, who was has never met the May family, said he wanted to help them find closure.
"I'm just really, really sorry for them," he said. "I wish them all the best. If you help somebody because you have a certain skill that can help them, wouldn't it be the right thing to do that?"
Thompson is one of about 30 advanced technical divers in the area who has the ability to reach depths of 400 feet.
"After a while, search efforts weren't uncovering him in shallow depths and I realized it's probably because he was in deeper depths," he said.
On Thursday, lifeguards called off their search for May. San Diego police also issued a missing persons bulletin for May, in hopes that someone may come forward with more clues in his disappearance.
May went to La Jolla Shores early last Monday, telling his wife he planned to meet up with a diving group he had contacted online, according to lifeguards. About an hour later, May called his spouse to say he'd arrived at the beach but could not find the others with whom he had planned to dive.
When May failed to return home or call his wife again for about 12 hours, she reported him missing.
May's car was found in a parking lot in the area, and a plastic tub holding his car keys, sunglasses and clothing was located in a grassy area along the beach. May had rented a scuba tank and some diving weights at a nearby dive shop, but authorities could find no one who saw him entering the water.
Dozens of lifeguards spent several hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday searching the area in boats, aided by a Coast Guard helicopter.
The body was found Sunday at a depth below where rescue divers can safely go, Lerum said. He said the body could have been moved around by currents over the last week.
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