Attempt to Harvest Abalone Results in Another Death

Press release provided by the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office:

Mendocino SheriffOn 04-21-2015 at approximately 5:39 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a coroner’s investigation in the 43000 block of North Highway 1 in Westport, California.After Deputies arrived they learned that the decedent was visiting the Mendocino Coast with a longtime friend.  Both subjects had entered a Pacific Ocean cove during low tide, where they proceeded to fish and search (rock pick) for abalone from the shoreline.

After several hours, the tide grew rapidly and subsequently trapped both subjects within the cove.  The two subjects were unable to navigate out of the steep bluff surrounding the cove by using the route they took when they entered.

Both feared they would be unable to withstand the cold elements until the next scheduled low tide, so both attempted to exit the cove by climbing a section of the steep bluff.  During that accent, the decedent lost his footing and fell approximately 75-feet down to a rocky area of the shoreline.

The decedent’s friend climbed back down, called 9-1-1 from a cellular telephone, and initiated cardio pulmonary resuscitation until Emergency Medical Personnel arrived.  Ambulance personnel arrived on scene and determined that the decedent was deceased.

Personnel from the Westport Volunteer Fire Department assisted and recovered the decedent after launching a technical rope rescue.

Deputies identified the decedent as being Joel Falcon a 52-year-old male from El Cerrito, California.

A coroner’s investigation into the decedent’s death is ongoing.



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