Three Abalone Divers Drown

Our abalone report from last year reported on the dangers and risks of abalone diving. Tragedy again struck the sport when three Northern California divers drowned.

Here’s Reuters’ report:

Three men drowned as they dived for abalone off the rocky coast of Northern California’s Mendocino County after becoming trapped by pounding surf in a narrow channel, authorities said on Monday.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said the accident happened after five men entered Caspar Anchorage Bay on Sunday afternoon to dive for red abalone, a large, edible mollusk hunted for sport along the coast north of San Francisco Bay.

Witnesses said rough waves made for poor diving conditions, with swells 7 to 8 feet tall, Sergeant Joseph Comer of the sheriff’s office, said in a statement.

A fisherman alerted rescuers, who arrived by boat and helicopter and pulled two of the victims onto Caspar Beach, police said. Despite life-saving efforts, both were pronounced dead at the scene, Comer said. Four hours later, the body of the third victim was found floating in a nearby cove.

 Our thoughts are with the families of the victims.