Van Damme ab diver found dead

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Posted by on June 30, 2005 at 08:14:38:

Mendocino County Search and Rescue divers located Om Yol Choi, a 57-year-old abalone diver from San Jose, in about 20 feet of water in Van Damme State Park bay on Tuesday. Choi was still wearing his diver weight belt, which had about 30 pounds of weights on it, the Sheriffs Office reported.

On Monday friends of Choi reported to State Parks that he was last seen diving on the south side of the northern point of the bay with a group of friends.

State Parks and Mendocino volunteer firefighters responded and conducted a life saving search of the area. The Coast Guard also responded with two boats and a helicopter.

The Sheriffs Office was notified and took over the search.

Rescue personnel, using an inflatable boat, conducted an underwater search of the area until time prohibited further search on Monday. The next morning the underwater and shore search resumed until Chois body was found.

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