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Abalone diver drowns in Sonoma County

A 54-year-old man diving for abalone near Stillwater Cove off the Sonoma County coast died Saturday, the victim of an apparent drowning.

Witnesses on shore reported seeing the man struggling after apparently getting entangled in kelp, sheriff?s deputies said.

Other divers in the area swam to the victim, who deputies say may have been under water for as long as 10 minutes, and pulled him to shore, where they began CPR.

Rescue personnel from Timber Cove fire, state parks and the Sonoma County sheriff?s helicopter arrived and took over resuscitation efforts, but the victim was declared dead at 12:40 p.m.

Sheriff?s personnel declined to identify the victim pending notification of next of kin.

The drowning was the fifth abalone-related death this year on the North Coast. Last year, seven people died.


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