San Diego

Body Found in Rubble of Tugboat Fire ID'd

The body of a 32-year-old man found in the rubble of a tug boat fire was identified Sunday night, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department officials said.

Henry Whimbley was staying on the boat as an employee of Pacific Tugboat Services, according to Southern California Inlandboatmen's Union.

The union issued a statement saying: "We're saddened by the news...Our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families."

The fire broke out Sunday around 1:15 a.m. Sunday on the 1400 block of Cesar E Chavez Parkway, Media Services Manager Lee Swanson said. 

Firefighters rushed to the scene of the fire, reported aboard the tugboat "Chief". 

The preliminary investigation revealed the fire appears to have started on the first deck, where the galley, office and lounge areas were located. 

The flames spread to second deck's sleeping quarters, as well as the wheelhouse on the top deck, Swanson said. 

Crews knocked the fire down in 35 minutes, Swanson said. 

After quelling the flames, crews did a preliminary search of the boat and found Whimbley on the top deck.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Because the fire was difficult to access, a second alarm was called to respond, though they were not used and later canceled. 

The damage is estimated to be at $300,000. 

No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 

Contact Us