2nd Abalone Diver Dies On Sonoma Coast In As Many Days

SONOMA COUNTY (CBS SF) — A Santa Rosa man Friday morning became the second abalone diver in two days to die while harvesting the mollusks on the Sonoma Coast, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Sonoma County coroner’s office identified him as 44-year-old Jeffrey Facendini.

Facendini was diving at the north end of Fisk Mill Cove in the Fort Ross State Historic Park area when his diving partner found him face down in the water around 10:15 a.m., sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Thompson said.

The diving partner pulled Facendini from the water and attempted CPR for 20 minutes before he flagged down a state parks seasonal employee who was driving on state Highway 1, Thompson said.

State parks lifeguards found Facendini on the rocks along the surf line 50 feet below a cliff, Thompson said.

The Timber Cover Fire Protection District, the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Sonoma Coast, and a sheriff’s Henry-1 helicopter also responded, Thompson said.

The helicopter crew used a long line to bring the stricken diver to the top of the cliff, where emergency medical technicians continued life-saving efforts. Facendini was pronounced dead at 10:47 a.m., Thompson said.

Thompson said it would have taken four or five people a half-hour to carry Facendini a quarter-mile up the bluff to highway 1.

Thursday morning, Jason Chak Yin Cheung, 42, of South San Francisco, died of suspected cardiac arrest after he collapsed in chest-high water south of Pedotti Ranch in the Fort Ross State Historic Park area.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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