Diver Trapped in Cave and Dies While Searching for Abalone
Today, Feng Chang Wei of San Francisco was discovered deceased in Mendocino. Wei had been diving for abalone on the 29th with four friends. Rough waves forced Wei into a sea cave where he became trapped. His companions were unable to rescue him.
The Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team attempted to locate him both on the 29th and on the 30th but conditions made searching difficult. Today, (see press release below) search crews were able to locate his body in the cave where he had been trapped.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Press Release:
On 7/01/2014 around 8:15 AM members of the Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team, assisted by Elk Volunteer Fire Department and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, responded to the Elk area to evaluate ocean conditions. On this date the Fish and Wildlife Department transported divers to the area in their Ocean Patrol Boat “Chinook”. Ocean conditions were more favorable, than the previous day, for deployment of the dive team. Two Dive Team members responded to the cave where the missing person was last seen. Around 9:00 AM dive team members located the missing person still in the cave and confirmed he was deceased. The decedent was transported back to Fort Bragg where family members made a positive identification.
The cause of death was not obvious at the time the decedent’s body was recovered. A coroner’s investigation was initiated and the cause of death is pending completion of an autopsy and toxicology screening.