Drowned Sonoma County Abalone Diver Named

JENNER, Calif. (AP) - Sonoma County authorities have identified a 54-year-old man who drowned while diving for abalone over the weekend.

Witnesses told the sheriff's department that Craig Alan Belluomini, of San Bruno, appeared to be stuck in a kelp bed Saturday morning when other divers saw him struggling in the water near Stillwater Cove.

The divers pulled him to shore and gave Belluomini CPR, but he was declared dead on the beach when rescue personnel arrived.

It was the fifth abalone diving-related death this year on the North Coast. Last year, seven people died while prying the prized shellfish from the ocean floor. Abalone is used in sushi and can sell for $100 apiece on the black market.

Information from: The Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemo.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-08-11-08 1539EDT

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