Investigation of Capsized Boat Concludes

Accident that killed father, son could have been prevented

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Rory Devine
    The sailboat involved in an accident that killed two people on March 27, 2011 near Shelter Island.

    A fatal sailboat accident in March could have been prevented, Harbor Police said.

    Harbor Police Department investigators said the accident was caused by the boat carrying too many people and the poor condition of its equipment – among other factors.

    They released the results of the investigation Wednesday in a press conference.

    The accident killed a father and son when it capsized, throwing all 10 passengers overboard into the San Diego Bay.

    The 26-foot vessel was owned by a non-profit organization that takes special needs individuals on tours of the bay. George Saidah was operating the boat when it capsized.

    While the boat was traveling near Buoy 20, between Shelter Island and Harbor Island, it capsized. Civilian boaters Ralph Whitworth, Michael Powell and Neal Hart worked with the Harbor Police to remove passengers from the water.

    Xingchao Chen, 73, and his son Jun Chen, 44, were unconscious when rescuers pulled them out of the water, and were not responding. They were transported to the Shelter Island launch ramp and the San Diego Fire Department provided advanced life support. The two were pronounced dead shortly after.

    The San Diego County Coroners Office found that the two men drowned.