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Dead scuba diver was CHP lieutenant

The Sonoma County coroner’s office has identified a scuba diver who died Sunday in Salt Point State Park off the Sonoma County coast as 54-year-old Jeffrey Alan Rhea of Rohnert Park, coroner’s officials said.

Rhea was a lieutenant with the California Highway Patrol, according to a Facebook post by the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Rhea was scuba diving with three other people when he was found unresponsive on the surface, the police department said.

A paramedic from the Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter tried to revive Rhea but that effort was unsuccessful, according to the Facebook post.

A former Chief Warrant Officer with the Marine Corps, Rhea joined the CHP in 1988 and was promoted to the Santa Rosa area office in 2009, police said in the post.

Commander of the Santa Rosa area CHP office Greg Baarts said in the Facebook post:

“We send our greatest sympathy to Jeff Rhea’s family. … Jeff was an integral part of our command and our CHP family. It is a great loss for all of us.”

Rhea is survived by two adult daughters, police said.

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