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freediving fatality help

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Here in Northern California there are deaths of recreational freedivers going after abalone. The number of registered abalone divers in California last year is 30,000+.

I once talked to a California Dept. of Fish and Games officer and he told me the AVERAGE number death of abalone divers is about 2 per year. These are usually associated with freedivers unfamiliar with the local conditions, poor equipment, lack of buddy/safety skills, pressure to 'get abs' that weekend they are on the coast, etc. Note the number I just mentioned is anecdotal. I'm sure more solid statistics can be found at the DFG website.


Peter S.
Hunting for abalone while holding your breath, in my view, isn't recreational freediving. I would create a broad classification called 'breath-hold underwater hunting', which includes any activity designed to hunt for marine life, whether crabs/lobsters, abalone, or fish. They are all much more dangerous, in my view, than diving for pure pleasure without any hunting.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Where would you place freedivers/snorklers run over by recreational boats? There are quite a few deaths from this.

A friend of mine died last year inn Norway. He was just going to make a couple of dives more after his friends swam a shore. SWB and drowning. Depth...26m. Training ! 33 years old !
Sad funeral
I checked a couple of back issues of Hawaii Skin Diver magazine (hawaiiskindiver.net), and here are a couple that I found:
Summer 2003-Charlie Chiswick (details not printed)
Spring 2004-Shinto "Steve" Seo (disappeared while spearfishing in Mexico-body not recovered)
Jason Matsuo (SWB-details not printed)

There is also a statstical review of drownings in Hawaii 1993-1997 at:
There are several deaths listed there as being attributed to freediving.

Added 7/24: A 40 yo Male participating in the "national freediving championships" in Halewia, Hawaii drowned today. He missed a check in, a search was initiated, and his body was found offshore in 90 feet of water. (This was from the local TV news tonite.)
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