Immediately after Terrell Blake-Lopez, 26, fell out of his girlfriend’s family boat on Saturday, the search began.
“My husband jumped in instantly, and the police were only 300 feet away,” said Laura Moore, who was one of nine people on the boat when the accident occurred.
Blake-Lopez, a 26-year-old San Diego resident, fell out after the boat hit a wake about one mile south of Jack Smith Park, deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said. He was on the boat with his girlfriend’s family, who he lives with in Chula Vista.
Six minutes later, the SBCSD’s Marine Enforcement Unit arrived and began their own search. A helicopter flew over the river and several boats were patrolling the area looking for Blake-Lopez.
Blake-Lopez’s girlfriend, Destiny Clark, said that although she wasn’t on the boat, her family saw what happened and did all they could to help find her boyfriend.
“They’re not going to rest until he’s found,” Clark said.
However Blake-Lopez’s mother, Monica S. Blake, says much more could have been done.
“If this would have happened in San Diego, there would have been helicopters calling his name, providing a description of my son,” Blake said.
She believes if her son is alive, he may be disoriented and would have responded to a more thorough search. Blake is also critical of Clark’s family for leaving just a day after the incident occurred.
“Several people on that boat have stopped looking for him.”
Clark’s 17-year-old sister, Christian, was sitting next to Blake-Lopez when he fell out of the boat. Clark said her sister was not handling the trauma of the incident well, and had to go home. That’s why the family left on Sunday.
“My parents want to be there searching for him. He is like a son to them, and I know if they had the chance, they would be out there looking for him,” Clark said. “But my sister has seen so much, and they’re looking out for her health as well.”
Clark spoke with Blake on Sunday. The two have been supportive of each other, and understand that the incident was accident.
“The painful part for all of us is not knowing,” Clark said.