- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says a dive boat operator surrendered her credentials at the conclusion of an investigation into the disappearance and presumed death of a scuba diver off Southern California.

The experienced female diver in her 40s went missing in December during a dive trip near Catalina Island aboard the Sundiver Express. A search using boats and helicopters turned up nothing.

The probe determined the passenger, Laurel Silver-Valker, wasn’t discovered missing until after the 43-foot boat had moved positions to another dive site.

The operator of the Long Beach-based Sundiver Express, Kyaa Heller, was accused of negligence and misconduct. The Coast Guard says she voluntarily surrendered her merchant mariner credential on June 6.

Coast Guard proceedings are administrative in nature, and are intended to maintain standards of competence and conduct.

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