Sonoma scuba diver dies in rough surf north of Jenner

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Posted by on May 02, 2007 at 15:46:22:

In Reply to: 4 ab divers die in 5 days posted by Eric S on May 02, 2007 at 15:30:19:

A 50-year-old man drowned while scuba diving in rough waters north of Jenner, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff Department.

Victor Smith, of Petaluma, got stuck in a crack of a rock offshore of Stillwater Cove Regional Park, according to sheriff's Sgt. Eric Thomson. Large waves hampered efforts by a friend, lifeguard and the Henry-1 helicopter crew to rescue him, said Thompson.

"He was in this churning water, all whitewater, where you can't really swim and you can't really breathe," Thomson said. "Just a very, very dangerous spot."

Sunday's drowning increased the death toll for divers to five this month on the North Coast. Four others died earlier in April while hunting for abalone.

Smith went to Stillwater Cover with two abalone-diving friends, both of whom had gotten out of the water because of the rough conditions.

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