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Coast Guard Patrol Boat and Recreational Vessel Collide in San Diego

Incident marks second such event in less than one month; similar collision occurred in Charleston, SC on December 5th. NTSB investigating both accidents.

According to an official U.S. Coast Guard press release, a 33-foot Coast Guard boat and a recreational vessel collided in San Diego Bay Sunday, shortly before 6 p.m. A Coast Guard investigator, at the University of California, San Diego hospital confirmed one passenger taken to the hospital was pronounced dead.

An Associated Press account said that the vessel’s operator claimed that “his lights were on when a Coast Guard boat rammed his 26-foot Sea Ray, killing his 8-year-old son and injuring five others on board.” Reportedly, the 33-foot Coast Guard patrol boat was responding to a report of a grounded vessel. The West Coast tragedy comes closely on the heels of another similar incident in Charleston, SC, also involving a small Coast Guard vessel and another watercraft. The Charleston collision – involving a 25-foot Coast Guard small boat and a 43-passenger power catamaran – did not involve any fatalities.

The Coast Guard also reported on Sunday that several other passengers from the recreational vessel sustained injuries and were transported to area hospitals. The Coast Guard Cutter Haddock, an 87-foot patrol boat stationed at Sector San Diego, assisted in providing medical assistance to the passengers and transported them to awaiting emergency medical personnel. Both vessels involved in the collision returned to shore and are being assessed for damages.

Weather conditions at the time of the accident were clear with light winds. The cause of the accident is under investigation. As in the South Carolina incident, a team of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators have been dispatched. The Coast Guard also said that, in addition to the NTSB investigation, the Coast Guard will conduct its own investigations and is fully cooperating with the NTSB.

PHOTO: MarEx Files.