Platforms Ellen and Elly (right) in 2011. A pipeline connecting these platforms to the Port of Long Beach is a likely source of the October 1, 2021 Orange County oil spill. Photo by John Robinson Photography

Authorities Monday publicly identified a 64-year-old diver who was found dead off the coast.

Theodore Watler of Long Beach was reported missing about 10:30 a.m. Sunday after he became separated from his group, who had hired a commercial vessel to take them to platform Elly, according to the Long Beach Fire Department.

LBFD crews search for a missing diver near oil platform Elly on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2021. Photo courtesy the Long Beach Fire Department.

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted local agencies including the LBFD, which responded to the area where Watler went missing. They used a fire boat’s remote-operated vehicle to find Watler’s body, according to the Fire Department.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the missing diver,” the LBFD tweeted.

A map shows the location of platform Elly, about 12 miles due south of Long Beach’s Belmont Pier.

The Orange County Register reported Watler’s body was found at a depth of about 250 feet near platform Elly about 3 p.m. Sunday. The LBFD originally said Watler was diving there as part of a commercial operation but later clarified it was a recreational trip.

It was not immediately known how Watler became separated from his group, nor exactly what caused his death.

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