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Boating accident claims the life of San Diego man

A group of friends' fun Labor Day weekend outing on the Colorado River turned tragic when a San Diego man fell over the side of the boat and drowned, according to officials from the San Bernardino's Sheriff's Department. After police searched for the man for several days, his body was reported by a fisherman Wednesday morning. It was later identified to be the missing man.

The fatal boating accident occurred on the river near Needles, California, just south of Jack Smith Park. The 26-year-old man and several friends were enjoying an outing on a 28-foot pleasure boat when the watercraft suddenly hit a hard wake at about 7:00 p.m. The force of that impact caused the man was thrown over the side of the boat. He was not wearing a life jacket at the time.

After the man fell overboard, his friends were unable to locate him, and called 911. San Bernardino sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene within minutes and began searching for the man. They called in reinforcements such as a dive team and a helicopter crew, but were still unable to locate the man. After two days, they called off the search, hoping the man's body or any additional evidence would turn up.

Wednesday morning, a fisherman called 911 to report that he had found a body floating in the Colorado River several miles from where the boating accident had taken place. That body was later identified to be the missing man.

Although the investigation into the boat accident is still ongoing, police believe that the man death was caused by drowning.

Source: Sign On San Diego, "S.D. man's body recovered from Colorado River," Pauline Repard, Sept. 8, 2011

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