Local News

Oct 3, 2010 8:25 PM by Danielle Lerner

New details emerge in fatal boating accident in Morro Bay

We are learning more about the boating accident that killed one person and sent two people to the hospital.

A fishing boat capsized just before 2 p.m. Saturday in the surf line about one mile south of the Morro Bay Harbor entrance.

The three people on board were not wearing life jackets and that has emergency responders issuing a warning for even the most seasoned mariners.

A viewer's cell phone captured one of the three boaters being wheeled to an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital.

The footage comes about 30 minutes after rescuers found two people on a nearby sandspit and another still in the water.

"The boat itself had actually washed up onto the beach and was overturned," said Bill Murphy of the Morro Bay Fire Department.

Firefighters still don't know what caused the boat to capsize but they believe weather may be to blame.

"What we do know is the surf conditions were pretty rough and there was poor visibility due to the pretty heavy fog," said Murphy.

Morro Bay Fisherman Mark Hamerdinger has his own theory of what may have happened.

"I think they were probably up closer to the beach and kind of got inside the surf break and rolled the boat," said Hamerdinger.

He says it is not uncommon for fishermen to go without wearing a life jacket, but he admits there are times when safety should trump comfort.

"If the weather was such that there was a chance that something could go wrong then yeah, definitely put a life vest on," said Hamerdinger.

Still firefighters say sometimes is not enough.

"It's very important for boaters to have life jackets on board and to wear those," said Murphy. "Particularly when they're navigating the waters here around the Central Coast."

The identity of the person who died has not been released.

The two other passengers were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

No word yet on their conditions.


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