Diver's death remains a mystery

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Posted by on November 08, 2006 at 01:01:33:

SAN MATEO Robert Crawford's diving buddy had his back turned for no more than 20 seconds, but in that time, Crawford vanished from the ocean surface. It was the last time he was seen alive. The body of the noted San Mateo attorney was found on the ocean floor four days later, on Oct. 11. But no one is sure yet what caused him to sink noiselessly under the water four miles off Point Sur in Monterey County, where he and a group of divers had gone to explore a formation known as Schmieder Bank.

The lingering uncertainty has complicated the grieving process for Crawford's family, particularly his wife, Pat, and their two sons, Craig and Colin. Though the Monterey County coroner determined that the cause of death was drowning, the inquiry into the Oct. 7 incident is ongoing, as investigators consult with experts to determine whether a problem with Crawford's specialized diving equipment contributed to the accident.

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