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2 Drown Along San Diego Coast

Two people drowned off the San Diego coast Saturday, as large crowds descended on the beaches, leading to 100 rescues, authorities reported.

Bernice Benay, 60, of Pacific Beach, drowned while swimming near the foot of Missouri Street in Pacific Beach at about 2:30 p.m., according to lifeguards and the Mission Bay Harbor Patrol. She was swimming in an area that will not have full-time lifeguards until next weekend.

Benay’s son saw his mother in trouble and summoned the help of two nearby men, who pulled her to shore, according to lifeguards who arrived at the scene several minutes later.

In the other accident at 1:25 p.m., a diver looking for abalone in the kelp beds about one mile off Sunset Cliffs Boulevard apparently became entangled in kelp, according to lifeguards. The diver, whose name was unavailable, was taken by Life Flight helicopter to UCSD Medical Center, where he died.

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