MENDOCINO — Authorities in Mendocino County say an abalone diver died when he fell from a steep cliff after a dive.
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 litter and hoisting him up. He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Fort Bragg.
Abalone are mollusks found off the California coast. They are revered by seafood lovers.