A Sacramento man died Sunday morning while diving for abalone off the Timber Cove-area coast, authorities said.

The 58-year-old man and a friend had been diving from a boat. When the friend returned to the boat he spotted the victim floating face up in the water, Sonoma County Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Thomson said.

The friend got to the unconscious man, took off his weight belt and pulled him into the boat. He then called for help on a portable radio and motored to the Timber Cove boat landing.

Timber Cove firefighters and state parks rangers responded to the call about 10:50 a.m. and conducted CPR on the man. The cause of the death was under investigation.

The Sheriff's Department helicopter also responded and flew the victim to a nearby awaiting REACH medical helicopter, where he was pronounced dead, Thomson said.

The man's name was not released pending notification of relatives.

In 2008, eight people died while abalone diving off the Sonoma and Mendocino County coasts.

This year, a 63-year-old Marin County man with a medical condition collapsed and died April 21 while diving near Point Arena.

The spring abalone season opened April 1. It runs through June.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.