Marin County man is 4th abalone diver to die this year

A Marin County attorney with a taste for freshly caught abalone died Sunday while diving with his son on the Sonoma Coast.

Brian Dinday, 62, of San Rafael was pulled from the water by a Sonoma County Sheriff's Department helicopter rescue crew after 1 p.m. at Horseshoe Cove in Salt Point State Park, authorities said.

Whether Dinday drowned or suffered a medical condition had not been determined on Monday, the coroner's office said.

Dinday's son, Matthew, 30, who was diving with his father and watched him get swept away from the shore in rough surf was too distraught to talk to anyone Monday, said Dinday's wife, Mary.

"He was doing what he loved," Mary Dinday said of her husband, who started abalone diving in the 1980s and just resumed the sport last year. "I don't think that's any consolation."

The men, described as careful divers and strong swimmers, were caught in heavy waves that started quickly and took them by surprise, Mary Dinday said.

Matthew Dinday reached the shore and shed his flippers, thinking his father was right behind him. "He realized his father was in trouble," Mary Dinday said.

Matthew went back into the water but was unable to reach his father, she said.

The helicopter crew found Brian Dinday floating face down close to the rocky shore, officials said.

Dinday, a criminal defense lawyer and father of four grown children, was the fourth person to die this year in connection with abalone diving off the Sonoma and Mendocino county coasts.

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