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Old 14 September 2015, 17:13   #1
zip
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Another boating death at Catalina

Another Powerboat Death at Catalina

September 11, 2015 Two Harbors, Catalina

In the aftermath of last weekend's tragic late-night boating accident in Catalina's Descanso Bay that took the lives of two young boaters, another on-the-water fatality occurred yesterday, 26 miles away at Two Harbors.

According to an L.A. County Sheriff's Department release, 22-year-old Belinda 'Bel' Joanne Nguyen was struck in the head by a powerboat's prop at 12:10 yesterday while snorkeling in the Isthmus Cove mooring field. Baywatch paramedics as well as Harbor Patrol and Sheriff's Deptartment personnel responded to the accident, but she could not be saved. Ms. Nguyen's body was airlifted by helicopter to the L.A. County Coroner's Office, and an investigation is being conducted by the Marina del Rey Sheriff's Station.

One source reports that the vessel that struck the young swimmer was in the process of picking up a mooring when the incident occurred. Nguyen was an employee of The Galley restaurant, and formerly of the Harbor Department.

Naturally, the tight-knit Two Harbors community is in shock and grieving over the accident, especially in light of last weekend's fatalities in nearby Avalon, and the tragic deaths last December at Avalon of a popular liveaboard sailor and a heroic harbor patrolman who died trying to keep a dive vessel from grounding on the beach.

Let the recent deaths serve as reminders to all boat operators and watersports enthusiasts that a moment's inattention can have tragic consequences especially in crowded harbors.

- latitude / andy

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Old 15 September 2015, 14:25   #2
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Snorkeling *in* the mooring field?

jky
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Old 15 September 2015, 15:45   #3
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Jky,

Tragic, but my sentiments exactly.
Sounds totally preventable.
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Old 15 September 2015, 15:46   #4
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Snorkeling *in* the mooring field?
I do it all the time. So does everyone else.

Both parties needs to be very very aware. As a swimmer, I tend to tuck in near moored boats and out of the open where there is dingy traffic. When driving the boat, you're well aware that there's swimmers and kids everywhere..
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Old 15 September 2015, 16:39   #5
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I do it all the time. So does everyone else.

Both parties needs to be very very aware. As a swimmer, I tend to tuck in near moored boats and out of the open where there is dingy traffic. When driving the boat, you're well aware that there's swimmers and kids everywhere..
For sure, swimmers in the buoy field is a very common occurrence out there. There have been some good halibut pulled out from there

I do know some of the Two Harbors families out there and this is absolutely tragic for everybody.

Jason
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Old 16 September 2015, 08:43   #6
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hmm, not me. Once a year I do the Avalon Harbor cleanup dive, but that's as close as I get to boating traffic.
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Old 20 September 2015, 12:25   #7
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It is becoming a real problem over there... First off, so sad and tragic... RIP.

I agree with both perspectives on snorkeling in mooring field. But it is a necessary... you leave your own moored boat and HAVE to cross through the field to get to the protected snorkeling sites. I do it with my kids all the time and am always extremely nervous. I hold my speargun vertically and herd my kids the whole way. There are also a lot of yahoos that drive along the edges where you would expect to be safe... and a lot of people don't even look where they are going. I see people's dinghies miss underwater hazards by mere inches all the time... so many have no clue.
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