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At Least Eight Dead In Boating, Swimming Accidents

February 17, 1985

MOSS LANDING, Calif. (AP) _ The Coast Guard resumed a search Sunday for three people missing after boating and swimming accidents that drowned at least eight people along the Pacific Coast during high waves and raging surf.

As fog thinned Sunday morning over Monterey Bay south of San Francisco, the Coast Guard readied a search with a helicopter and small boat, said spokesman Lt. David Quick.

Asked how the accidents happened Saturday afternoon, Quick said, ″Your speculation is as good as mine.″

″I can’t remember a day like this,″ said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Bruce Wallisch.

Three 17-foot boats capsized in swells up to eight feet near the mouth of the Salinas River on the opening day of the salmon fishing season and five people drowned, the Coast Guard said.

Capt. John Hooks of the North County Fire District said he watched as ″one body after another came up″ at the site of the fishing boat disaster.

″There was nothing we could do to help them,″ he said, adding there were 13 calls for help within 45 minutes.

In an unrelated incident about a mile away, an 18-year-old and her 12-year- old brother were overwhelmed by the surf while swimming off Moss Landing State Beach.

A passerby dashed in to rescue the children, but also was overcome. The young woman and the passerby died, while the boy was treated for hypothermia and released.

At least one other victim died and a search for a second was called off after another boating accident some 80 miles to the north off, off Ocean Beach in San Francisco, when three occupants of a small boat were tossed into the water. The third man was treated for minor injuries.

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