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Scuba diver who died off Hawaii Kai was prominent San Diego attorney

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:54 p.m. HST, May 29, 2012

A scuba diver killed when he ran into trouble in waters off Hawaii Kai has been identified  by medical examiners as Philip Demassa, 67, of San Diego.

Online newspaper stories describe Demassa as a prominent San Diego defense attorney known for representing alleged drug traffickers and other high-profile criminal defendants.

The city Department of the Medical Examiner has not yet released a cause or manner of death.

Police said Demassa was found unconscious in waters off Hawaii Kai about 9:12 a.m. Sunday. He was part of a commercial ocean dive. A boat took him ashore where paramedics and fire rescue personnel assisted him.

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