Three men have been confirmed dead on Sunday after diving for abalone off the coast of Northern California. Authorities stated the sea was very choppy prior to the incident. The three men were part of a five-man diving group who were looking for the much sought after mollusks in an area known as Caspar Cove. Sally Swan, fire captain of Mendocino, stated the divers found themselves trapped in unsavory conditions in the cove.
During the incident, a nearby off-duty fireman saw the men struggling to keep afloat and notified authorities for further help. Swan said two of the three men were pulled from the water shortly afterwards. The body of the third man was found at dusk after a search that lasted nearly five hours. Rescue crews were able to pick up the additional two divers who escaped the rough seas.
The three men have been the first fatalities of the abalone season, which started in April. Abalone are prized by diving enthusiasts and seafood lovers. Though, the hunt for the mollusks can be dangerous, especially off the coast of Northern California near San Francisco.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Joe Lewis – Flickr License