SANTA ROSA— A diver died Saturday in the quest for abalone that has claimed three other lives in the waters off Northern California the past week.
The middle-aged man collapsed on a Sonoma County beach after getting out of the water, the Press-Democrat reported.
The supervising ranger at Salt Point State Park said the man went into distress in a popular hunting ground for the mollusks, where another diver died one week earlier.
Fishing season for abalone, which are prized delicacies by seafood lovers, opened April 1 and ran for several weeks without incident.
Then last weekend three divers died in separate incidents in the water, where powerful rip currents were reported.
Cedric Collett, a 66-year-old retired firefighter, died April 27 while diving off Shell Beach in Sonoma County. His body was found still in his weight belt, which is used to help a diver stay submerged while prying abalone loose from rocks.