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Jan 1, 2015

04:28:11 GMT--Extreme Weather - North-America - USA

EDIS Number: ST-20150101-46511-USA

Date / time: 01/01/2015 04:26:29 [UTC]

Event: Extreme Weather

Area: North-America

Country: USA

State/County: State of California

Location: [Catalina Island]

Number of Deads: 2 person(s)

Number of Injured: 2 person(s)

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: Moderate


Two people died on Catalina Island, including a harbor patrol officer who was swept overboard and crushed between a boat and rocks amid a fierce storm, authorities said Wednesday. Homicide detectives were en route to Green Pleasure Pier in Avalon Harbor at 10:55 p.m. to investigate the death of the harbor patrolman, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Sheriff's Deputy Guillermina Saldana said she was unable to provide any details about the circumstances leading to the patrolman's death, but a coroner's official said the incident occurred when the man was trying to secure boats in Avalon Harbor. "It appears that it was weather-related," said count Department of Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter. "There were boats that had broken loose from their moorings. He evidently got swept overboard and was pinned between the boat and rocks." A second man died in a "water-related incident," according to the coroner's office. It was not immediately clear if the two victims' deaths were connected and an investigation was ongoing, Winter said. Neither victim had been identified by midday Wednesday. Catalina resident Tom Quinn said he was sitting in Luau Larry's, one of the bars that line the harbor, when everything unfolded very quickly. The patrolman was trying to save a dive vessel called the King Neptune, he said. "All of a sudden, the wind just came," Quinn said. "Mayhem was happening out here ... Guys were dying." Harbor workers were scrambling to get boats tied up as vessels were breaking loose. He described the patrolman as a "very well loved local young 27-year-old man." The other victim, Quinn said, was older and also an experienced sailor.

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