Re: 2 abalone diver deaths, the first place to look for a dive instructor

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Posted by . on May 20, 2004 at 18:00:36:

In Reply to: 2 abalone diver deaths posted by . on May 20, 2004 at 17:51:30:

News in brief from California's North Coast

Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, Calif. - Two divers died after getting caught in an undertow off the Mendocino coast during an abalone diving expedition.

Gregory Peeler and Marion Denzer perished Saturday after Peeler tried to rescue Denzer, who was caught in an undertow near MacKerricher State Park north of Fort Bragg.

"It is really ironic," said Denzer's wife of 40 years, Rose Denzer.

Peeler, 33, and Denzer, 77, were both veteran divers familiar with ocean conditions off the popular beach and campground, according to family members.

Nonetheless, Denzer said her husband should not have gone out on the ocean that afternoon. He'd been working on their rental unit all day and was tired, Denzer said.

"I didn't want him to go. It wasn't like him. If he was tired or the water was rough, he wouldn't go," she said.

On Saturday, both conditions were in existence. Even though the men had found a protected cove near MacKerricher, ocean conditions can change quickly, Denzer said.

Every year four or five people drown off the Mendocino Coast while abalone diving, according to Mendocino County Sheriff's Lt. Kurt Smallcomb.

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