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Too Many Passengers On Boat Contributed To Fatal Accident

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Aired 7/27/11

No charges will be filed related to a San Diego Bay boating accident that lead to the drowning deaths of a father and son.

— The accident happened in March while two families were on a sailing tour of San Diego Bay. An investigation by the Harbor Police found the number of people on the boat and the vessel’s condition led to it capsizing between Shelter and Harbor Islands. All 10 people aboard were thrown into the 55-degree water. Jun Chen, 44, and his 73-year-old father, Xingchao Chen, drowned.

Marguerite Elicone, with the Port of San Diego, said the boat was old and didn’t list any weight restrictions.

"The 1988 model did not have any specific requirements as to how many passengers could be on board," she said. "Back then they didn’t have to show any decal or anything."

Elicone said the boat was found to be seaworthy and no laws were broken.

A non-profit corporation that provides sailing excursions to people with special needs owned the 26-foot vessel. The group has not listed any more tours on its website since the day of the accident.

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