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Federal investigators to look into cause of fatal Coast Guard crash in San Diego [Updated]

A team of four investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are en route to San Diego today to investigate what caused a fatal crash between a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat and a recreational boat during a weekend holiday celebration.

Me-san-diego-boat22 A 33-foot Coast Guard boat responding to a report of a grounded vessel crashed about 6 p.m. Sunday into a 24-foot boat carrying 13 passengers in the San Diego Bay, authorities said.

The passengers were among tens of thousands of spectators watching the annual Parade of Lights. The recreational boat was apparently anchored when it was hit, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque.

Six people aboard the recreational boat were taken to two hospitals for medical care.

[Updated at 10:13 a.m.: Of the six injured, three were children, authorities said. Two children suffered minor injures and the third died. The three others who were injured, all adults, were taken to the hospital with reports of major trauma, authorities said.]

Anthony Cole DeWeese, an 8-year-old from San Diego, was pronounced dead, and the condition of the other injured passengers was not immediately available. There were five people aboard the Coast Guard vessel, none of whom was injured, authorities said.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

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Comments () | Archives (8)

Is a 24 foot recreational boat really certified to safely haul 13 persons...It looks like the captain of that ship has some serious civil litigation to contend with along with criminal child neglect...What a terrible tragedy for the 8 year old and his family...I guess some people comply with safe boating rules and requirements when its convenient for them...

13 passengers on a 24' boat spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. But the skipper of the Coast Guard boat should be held responsible for the collision and possible manslaughter charges.

I think the issue is that the boat was at anchor. Doesn't look good for the Coast Guard.

Let's not blame the victims. A slow harbor ride in a 24 foot boat is fine. The coastguard boat obviously got out of control and it's captain should be tried for manslaughter. He, even more than anyone else, should have known to keep his boat in control.

I don't know the facts here, but I wonder if this is the same activity I see all the time in the police. Out on the road, they will drive anyway they want, sometimes turning on their lights, sometimes not. Any time I see a cop car, I worry! Not that they'll pull me over, but that they'll do something stupid in the name of rescue. They don't have to worry about being pulled over so they drive how ever they want. I don't care if they're going to help someone or catch someone, if they endanger the people they serve, it's a problem.

I'd like to hear more about this story and learn the facts!

There was a similar crash in South Carolina earlier in December. A coast Guard boat collided with a tour boat near Charleston. No one was killed in that incident. I have to wonder if the coast guard has some training issues that need to be addressed.

It's dark at 6:00, I wonder if the anchored boat had the proper lights turned on? Also, if the grounding incident the CG was responding to happened within the bay, I doubt it demanded a high speed response. Obviously, there are many more details that need to come out, so the blame game should wait until then.

This was such a tragic accident, my condolences go out to the family of the little boy who died and I pray for the recovery of those who got injured. I'm very eager to read about the results of the investigation on why the Coast Guard failed to avoid hitting the boat, was the Coast Guard going too fight to avoid the collision in time?

The standard rule for determining the carrying capacity of a boat is (length X beam) / 15. It is reasonable to assume that boat had greater than an 8 ft beam, so 13 passengers would be reasonable.

What is NOT reasonable is to suggest that how many people were on the boat is remotely an issue in the case of an anchored boat being struck by another boat doing 30+ knots. If 5 people were on the anchored boat, would the accident have been prevented?


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