MENDOCINO (CBS SF/AP) — Authorities in Mendocino County say an abalone diver died when he fell from a steep cliff after a dive, less than a week after the abalone season’s first fatality was reported.
The coroner’s office identified the diver on Monday as 55-year-old Aaron Smith, of Pittsburg, California.
Mendocino fire officials tell the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa the victim, later identified as Smith, and a partner had completed a dive at Mendocino Headlands State Park on Friday and were attempting to climb up the 100-foot cliff when Smith fell while about halfway up.
Four firefighters rappelled down and stabilized him before placing him in a basket and hoisting him up. He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Fort Bragg.
Abalone diver David Alan Longmore of Upper Lake died May 31 near the same location.
Last year, at least six divers died along the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts while hunting for the much-coveted mollusks found off the California coast.
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