Body washes ashore after boat accident in San Francisco

May 24, 2010 1:30:03 PM PDT
A man's body washed ashore Monday morning near Ocean Beach, after a sailboat hit the rocks Sunday. This is the second victim. Authorities say it may be a Bay Area couple.

The accident was reported by the Cliff House restaurant staff who saw the boat with people in distress.

Some witnesses at the Cliff House say they saw a third victim in the water at about 4:45 p.m. near Seal Rock. Investigators are checking with Pillar Point Harbor, where the boat came out of, to see if a third person was on the boat. The 33 foot sail boat is currently stuck on the rocks west of China Beach.

The discovery was made about 6:30 a.m. Monday morning on Ocean Beach -- maybe a half mile from where the accident happened Sunday.

"I was walking the dogs when my little dog went into the surf line and found the body, we don't know what happened or why the body was in the water," said Joanna Short.

The body on the beach certainly appears to be that of the man who was floating in the turbulent waters off of the Cliff House Sunday evening -- a body spotted by the Coast Guard helicopter, but a body that went under water and didn't reappear until Monday morning.

"On initial investigation the person matches the description of the person that we were trying to recover Sunday, " said Nat. Parks spokesperson Alexandra Picavet.

The boat is registered to a couple in El Sobrante. A woman's body, victim number one, was found on the same beach Sunday. Their final day began at Pillar Point -- they came north and made a deadly mistake.

"There was probably 10 foot swells breaking on the north end of Ocean Beach and most likely they didn't take it wide enough, they got a little too close to this area right around Seal Rock and the Cliff House and ran into some troubles with the high surf in this area," said Park Service life guard Sean Scallon.

The coast guard says it boarded the boat Sunday and determined no one was on board. It then left the boat to resume rescue efforts. The unmanned boat drifted to the Marin Headlands where the Coast Guard felt it was hard aground. But later, it drifted away across the Golden Gate and into the rocks where it sits right now.

The National Park Service has hired a company to salvage the sailboat at high tide Monday evening.


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