A boating accident in San Diego on March 27 claimed the life of a father and son and left eight others in the hospital, according to The Los Angeles Times. Chao Chen (73) and his son, Jun Chen (48) were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Ten passengers were on the boat when it capsized. The boat outing was organized for mentally disabled persons, and Jun was reportedly disabled.
Nearby boaters responded to the capsized ship, pulling the eight survivors out of the frigid waters. Medical personnel treated the survivors at nearby UC San Diego Medical Center and Scripps Mercy Hospital for various personal injuries, mostly hypothermia.
“The water temperature was probably in the mid 50’s,” says Maurice Lugue, spokesman for the San Diego Fire and Rescue. “They were shivering and cold, that was their main complaint.”
Experts are still investigating the cause of the boating accident. There were 10 people on the 26-foot boat, including two children. There was reportedly a light breeze and calm waters at the time of the boating accident, and no other boats appeared to be involved.
According to San Diego’s 10News.com, the boat was a hybrid between a sailboat and a motorboat.
“It doesn’t have a great reputation of being a great sail boat or a great power boat,” said Andy Kurtz of Seaforth Boat Rentals in Mission Bay.
“It has a retractable centerboard, or keel, and that’s something we are looking into to see if it had a role in this incident,” said San Diego Harbor Police Chief John Bolduc.
“If the sail was up and the centerboard was up, then it’s no surprise the boat capsized,” says Kurtz. Investigators have not indicated whether or not the two victims were wearing life jackets.