Local News

Nov 25, 2009 12:00 PM by Monica Quintero

Deadly boating accident off coast of Vandenberg; US Coast Guard gives boating safety tips

A 17-year-old is still missing after a deadly boating accident off the coast of Vandenberg. The accident involved three people. It happened just south of Minuteman Beach Monday night around 8 o'clock. Tuesday morning, one survivor was found in the area and the body of another man was discovered. KSBY's Monica Quintero talked with the US Coast Guard who said this serves as a tragic reminder about the importance of boat safety. They have some tips on what boaters can do to better protect themselves.

Colonel David Buck, with Vandenberg Air Force Base, said, "We didn't know about the accident until about 10 o'clock Tuesday morning. We had an individual, a retired individual from base. He was going to surf actually and he ran across an individual walking across the beach."

A spokesperson for Vandenberg Air Force Base said they're still trying to piece together exactly what happened. But it appears the three men were in a 40-foot boat when it hit some rocks in a remote area off the coast of Vandenberg. Kirk McKay is with the US Coast Guard. He said, "The ocean is a dangerous place." He said the key is that boaters need to be prepared. "The ocean is a big ocean and it's unforgiving. If you're going to be traveling from one point to the next, you need to make sure you do your homework and have charts of the area and proper electronic equipment to help you during the day and night," said McKay.

It's not known whether those involved in the tragic boating accident were wearing life jackets. But McKay's advice is to just play it safe. He said, "If you are uncertain, life jackets are always a plus." As for this tragedy, the victim's name still has not been released. The survivor seemed to be in good condition. In fact, he refused medical attention. The search will resume for the missing 17-year-old Wednesday morning. Vandernberg says all three men involved in the deadly boating accident are civilians and not associated with the base.

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