Father, son died in San Diego sailboat expedition
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Authorities on Monday identified a father and son who died after a rented sailboat carrying 10 family members on an outing organized for people with special needs capsized in calm water and good weather in San Diego Bay.
Chao Chen, 73, and his son, Jun Chen, 48, of San Diego died Sunday night, Harbor police Chief John Bolduc said at a news conference.
Eight other people who were thrown into the water were injured. The cause of the mishap was under investigation.
The office said Chao Chen, who was sailing with family members, died a little more than two hours after the 26-foot boat flipped, but officials did not list a cause of death.
The accident occurred near a buoy marking the way from a protected inlet to the channel of the bay.
There were no indications of a collision with another boat. Video footage appeared to show the boat had a retractable rudder, but it was not immediately clear if it was down at the time.
A boat that size should hold six people maximum, but with 10 aboard, there would be scant room for everyone to sit down, said Chris Tucker, owner of SailTime Channel Islands in Oxnard.
“With that many people, if four people were told to sit over there and the other people got up, that would be enough instability right there,” he said. “I’m amazed they didn’t sink right where they all got on. That’s just overloading the boat.”
The boat was carrying five men, three women and two children, a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy, authorities said. It was not immediately clear if the boat’s occupants were wearing lifejackets.
The eight survivors were taken to hospitals. The children were released after being treated briefly, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Maurice Luque said.
None of the injuries was life-threatening, he said.