Very sad story. Diving up there you are diving in a completely different world. Wave size is only one consideration, you really need to look at all the conditions and all the other factors. My condolences to the families. We are all one brotherhood lovers of the sea.
Sad! Very sad! They went into a cove and got trapped! 7-8 ft swells and by noon the swells and wind increased, I was out there! Just getting back into the gate was a challenge! I was not where they were at, but a little further south!
A ton of locals from my area were there for the ab dive as well, except they were having a hot tottie at Dick's Bar at time of this loss, they heard the horn go off while in the bar. I am going to go with the above mentioned novice divers because according to my friends that were there at the time nothing made sense. They said the surf was closer to 9 feet, and the time the divers went out did not take advantage of the low tide. Also they were not trapped, our group chose not to go out that day because of the huge waves and a tremendous rip that was going on at the time. They were swept around the corner of the cove were there is no beach the large waves pushed and crushed them on the rocks just around the corner from the cove.
Here a shot of some of my friends the day before the accident.........limits for all 17 in the group.......all now home and happy.
"Two of the victims were identified Monday as 49-year-old Tae Won Oh of Dublin, the co-owner of a popular sushi restaurant in that city called Amakara, and Hyun Kook Shin, 49, of Suwanee, Ga. A 53-year-old man from Fort Lee, N.J., also died, but was not immediately identified pending notification of his family." Those names appear to be Korean.
"Wow those waves look huge"
"Don't you want abalone? They are expensive and just plentifully grow on rocks here. We are here with the gear (>$100) and flew in for our California adventure (>$500). Let's just try and we can always stop..."
What do you think are the chances these guys were fully versed in the regs for red abs or had a punch card?
Any other ocean conditions they may have had one of those 50 ab photos with some meat somehow being exchanged for cash.
I always dive with a local and realize no snail is worth my life (my first 4 dives were ab-less), they got what they prepared for and trusted the wrong guy's advice with competition being a priority over safety. 50 year olds can ab dive, but usually they have experience to back it up.
Some how I just get the feeling these guys were intending to poach or at least blatantly disregard regs.... Call me a racist if you must.
Stupid + Old and unfit + Inexperienced + Money Spent + Bad conditions = Death