Spear Fisherman Dies Despite Dangerous Rescue Attempt

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Posted by on May 02, 2007 at 15:47:22:

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

A spear fisherman succumbed to the sea early Sunday morning in Sonoma County, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's office.

Victor Smith, 50, of Petaluma was diving to spear fish with companions in rough water at Stillwater Cove located north of Jenner by the Sea on the Pacific Coast, when he surfaced and yelled to his friends for help.

The sheriff's office reported that at around 9:30 a.m., a rescue team consisting of fire personnel, California State Park lifeguards and rangers received report of a diver in distress and took off in the sheriff's helicopter to assist.

Rescuers arrived to find Smith floating in turbulent water near some offshore rocks, according to the sheriff's office.

The rescue team dropped a 100-foot line from the helicopter and lowered one person down to save Smith, but Smith, whose body was wedged underwater in a crack of the offshore rock, did not survive, according to the sheriff's office.

After interviewing Smith's companions, rescuers found that one of Smith's friends had tried to save him but was knocked away by large waves.

Smith was wearing scuba gear and had a spearfish gun with him when he was found, according to the sheriff's office.

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