A caller alerted authorities to a body found on Ten Mile Beach just seven miles north of Fort Bragg a little after 4 p.m. As personnel arrived they discovered a nearby boat capsized on a sandbar not far off the beach.
As Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies work to unravel what occurred, darkness fell and made their investigation more difficult. Investigators are trying to determine the identity of the deceased, as well as the circumstances surrounding the crash, and, even more worrisome, the possibility of more victims.
According to Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall, after someone called in the deceased person, when emergency personnel arrived on scene, they saw the boat capsized on a sandbar about 300 yards away.
Kendall cautioned, “We’re making an assumption that the body came from boat.” But he did believe that almost surely the two were connected. “The subject has not been in the water for any length of time so identification is not going to be hard,” he told us. But he did not know if any identification had been found on the person’s body.
He also said that as of the time we spoke (a little before 6 p.m.), personnel from California State Parks were securing the boat which is a small “16 or a 20 foot personal boat.”
In addition, personnel are removing the body. He is concerned that possibly there might be another victim. At this time, he told us, “We don’t know if that was the only person on the boat.”
A US Coast Guard helicopter is now flying grid patterns in the area in what appears to be an attempt to rule out any additional victims.
Now, he explained, investigators will be contacting the harbor and asking questions about when the boat was last in the harbor (if it did come from the harbor), who were the last known occupants, etc.
Our hearts go out to those whose holiday season will be darkened by the loss of their loved one.
Please remember that information gathered from initial reports is subject to revision as more facts become available.