Kenneth Liu Identified as S.F. Abalone Diver Killed Sunday

Categories: Local News

Sonoma County authorities this morning identified the San Francisco man whose body was pulled to shore Sunday as 36-year-old Kenneth Liu.

According to sheriff deputies, Liu was one of three Abalone divers killed in three separate accidents off the coast of Northern California where powerful rip currents pounded through the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, a 66-year-old retired Pacifica firefighter was found in the water off of Shell Beach, several feet below the surface. He was found still wearing his weight belt, Sonoma County sheriff's Sgt. Ed Hoener told reporters.

Then on Sunday morning, Liu's body was found off of Fisk Mill Cove near Gerstle Cove at Salt Point State Park; he had gotten caught in a rip tide and was pulled to the beach by other divers who couldn't revive him.

He had been diving with a friend just before 8 a.m. when his buddy heard him yell for help as he was being pulled out by a rip tide, police said.

Other divers swam to the man as he struggled. They fought through the rip current themselves for several minutes before getting Liu to the shore.

Later that morning, another diver was found dead under the water off MacKerricher State Park beach north of Fort Bragg. He was about 15 feet below the water and "might have been snagged in rocks, requiring a deputy and paramedic to work in breaking surf to release him," Hoener said.

"It is the busiest we've been in that short amount of time with that many horrible outcomes," said Paul Bradley, who has been a sheriff's helicopter pilot for 12 years.

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