Ferry boat riders find dead man in Bay 

The highly decomposed body of a white man was found floating in the Bay on Tuesday afternoon, about one-half mile off Pier 41, according to authorities.

The man, who one witness said had black hair and was wearing a suit, has not yet been identified. A dispatcher with the U.S. Coast Guard said the body was so badly decayed it will be hard to identify.

At about 1:30 p.m., Richard Phillips, a deckhand on a departing Blue and Gold Fleet ferry headed to Sausalito, spotted the body floating in the water. There were about 25 passengers on the boat at the time.

Blue and Gold dispatchers immediately notified the U.S. Coast Guard, which arrived on scene to assist the San Francisco Police Department’s Marine Unit in retrieving the body.

An investigation is under way. An official with the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office said it is still unclear whether the man had jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge or how long he had been in the water.

Gary Poliski, a customer service agent with the Blue and Gold Fleet, said witnesses stood around in shock.

"All I could see was that the boat came to a sudden stop, and we thought it was strange, that there must be something in the water," Poliski, who has worked for the fleet for 18 years, said. "It came as quite a shock."

Pat Murphy, Blue and Gold’s operations manager, said Tuesday’s discovery was unfortunately "not that uncommon for those of us who work in the marine industry."

arocha@examiner.com

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