An abalone diver who drowned after becoming caught in kelp Friday afternoon off the coast near Sea Ranch was identified Monday as Richard K. Baer of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Baer, 57, was a former Coast Guard rescue crewman who was an experienced diver and surfer, said friend Ron Long who was diving with Baer on Friday.

"There were three of us altogether," Long said, explaining they were in about 12 feet of water off Galleons Reach, about 5? miles north of Stewarts Point. "He became entangled in kelp and couldn't reach the surface."

The drowning was the sixth on the North Coast this year related to abalone diving.

-- Laura Norton