Treacherous Norcal Waters Claim Another Diver

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Posted by on May 02, 2007 at 15:53:43:

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

April 30, 2007

JENNER -- A spear fisherman has become the latest diver to fall victim the treacherous waters off the Northern California coast. He is the fifth diver to die over the last two weeks.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's office said 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 Sunday 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.

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. He 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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