Man rescued, second presumed drowned after boat sinks off Ocean Beach 

One man is presumed drowned and a second recovering from hypothermia after their tugboat sank in heavy seas off Ocean Beach Saturday, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said.

Coast Guard Lt. Andrew Kennedy said the two-man crew of the 43-foot Tugboat Richardson Bay had been on their way to retrieve a lost skiff in Pacifica when the boat began taking on water about a half-mile offshore at about 2 p.m.

“They were basically swamped,” Kennedy said. “They were taking on some very heavy seas over the bow.”

One of the men on board grabbed a life ring and jumped into the water, and was helped by a kitesurfer, Jeff Spiller of Belvedere, until a Coast Guard boat arrived, according to Kennedy.



“He really, in all honesty, saved his life, by keeping him above water until we could get there,” Kennedy said.

The 53-year-old man was taken to Marin General Hospital to be treated for mild hypothermia and shock, he said.

The man told rescuers that his coworker donned a life jacket and got into a “Zodiac”-type inflatable motorized boat, Kennedy said.

The Coast Guard was notified by someone on shore who spotted the smaller boat in trouble.

“The report that we got was of an inflatable turning over,” Kennedy said.

The Coast Guard had three boats and a helicopter searching a 44-square-mile area for about 8-and-a-half hours, but finally called off the search at 12:03 a.m. Sunday, Kennedy said.

“Unfortunately we did not” find him, Kennedy said. The name of the 52-year-old San Anselmo man was not immediately released.

Kennedy said San Francisco police found the inflatable boat and a life jacket washed ashore on Ocean Beach near Lawton Street.

“It appeared that the life jacket was related to this case,” he said.

Sustained winds of 25 mph and gusts up to 45 mph Saturday contributed to the heavy seas, according to the Coast Guard.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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