Friday, August 12, 2016

Garberville Man Drowns in South Jetty Boating Accident

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 9:30 AM

A 66-year-old Garberville man drowned Thursday after a 19-foot boat wrecked on the rocks of the South Jetty, sending four people into the water.

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased man as Gary Floyd Abena, and its press release notes the other three boaters were treated for minor injuries and hypothermia.

According to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard, it sent a 47-foot motor lifeboat and a rescue helicopter after receiving a call that the 19-foot pleasure craft had been swept into the jetty, began taking on water and capsized, stranding the boaters on the jetty rocks.

According to a report on Kym Kemp’s blog, a rescuer said Abena had gotten “lodged” in the jetty rocks and was being covered by the surf. The rescuer, Bruce Adams, told the news site that it took about seven minutes to free Abena from the rocks and get him onto dry land. Adams also told the site that fishermen on the jetty had tried to warn the boat it was coming dangerously close to the rocks.

Abena is believed to be the county's fifth drowning death of 2016.

See the full press releases from the coroner’s office and the U.S. Coast Guard copied below:

Coast Guard responds to capsized boat off Humboldt Bay
EUREKA, Calif. — U.S. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay responded Thursday to a report of a capsized 19-foot pleasure craft with four people aboard near the Humboldt Bay South Jetty.
The Coast Guard received a report that the vessel was swept into the jetty, began taking on water, and capsized shortly after, stranding the four boaters on the jetty rocks. A rescue helicopter from Sector Humboldt Bay, a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay, and Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the scene to assist.
Coast Guard crews maintained a safety zone and aided EMS personnel in locating the boaters on the rocks. EMS confirmed three survivors with minor injuries and one deceased.

The vessel sank after capsizing and is no longer visible in the water.

Subject: Deceased Person Identified Case: 201604080

On August 11, 2016 at about 1:35 p.m. the Sheriff's Office received a call reporting a boat in distress with four subjects possibly in the water near the South Jetty.

The Sheriff's Office, Cal-Fire, and the Coast Guard all responded to the scene. Three subjects were rescued from the water suffering from minor injuries and hypothermia. One subject was recovered and pronounced deceased at the scene.

The deceased person has been positively identified as Gary Floyd Abena, age 66 from Garberville, California.

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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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