They get smashed against the rocks. They have heart attacks. They get tangled in ropes of kelp. In the hunt for abalone, people can die all sorts of ways.
This year, seven abalone seekers have perished off the coasts of Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, all for the love of a slimy white mollusk that is more sublime texture than taste.
In April, just after the start of abalone season, three friends drowned in choppy waters north of Mendocino. Another man died near the same spot in August. In June,