BODEGA BAY (KCBS/BCN)- Professional crab fishermen say a deadly fishing boat accident near Bodega Bay should serve as a lesson that recreational boaters should check the weather before going out.
On Tuesday, 71-year-old Glenn Shoji Iwamoto, of Sacramento, three other men, and one woman were catching crab aboard a 21-foot Cabo recreational vessel in the frigid waters about a half mile off of Arched Rock Beach, the U.S. Coast Guard said, when the boat flipped over sometime shortly after 9 a.m. Iwamoto drowned.
KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:
According to the sheriff’s office, a crab pot line became tangled in the Cabo’s propeller, disabling the boat as strong waves pelted the craft.
Two of the men aboard the Cabo struggled to dislodge the entangled rope, and at least two large waves struck the boat, according to preliminary reports, flooding it before another wave flipped the boat and tossed those aboard into 55-degree waters.
A friend of the boaters who was also crabbing nearby aboard a 22-foot Boston Whaler notified the Coast Guard of the capsizing and was able to pull the five individuals to safety on the Whaler.
According to the sheriff’s office, both groups of boaters had traveled together to Sonoma County from the Sacramento area.
”You know, a lot of these guys, they come from out of town and they only have certain days off so they’ve just got to go, and they don’t really pay attention,” said crabber Patrick Andrews. “Most of them only come up once a year, and don’t understand the conditions out there.”
At the time of the call, a gale warning was posted at the Bodega Bay Coast Guard Station due to winds of almost 30 mph and seas of 9 to 11 feet, according to the sheriff’s office.
Efforts by an EMT-trained Coast Guardsman to revive an unresponsive Iwamoto using CPR proved unsuccessful. By the time the lifeboat reached Station Bodega Bay, personnel from the Bodega Bay Fire Department declared Iwamoto deceased, according to the Coast Guard.
Along with the Coast Guardsmen, Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies; personnel from California State Parks, Cal Fire, and the Bodega Bay and Monte Rio fire departments; and emergency responders from Veri Health and Reach Air ambulances responded to the scene.
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