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4 confirmed dead after boat capsizes in California

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BODEGA BAY, Calif. >> Four people on a crabbing boat died Saturday off the coast of Northern California when a wave capsized their vessel.

The boat carried five people, and none of them were wearing the life vests that were aboard the craft when they went into the 59-degree water, said Sgt. Cecile Focha of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. One man managed to survive by swimming to shore.

“It’s such a tragedy, such a loss,” Focha said.

A mariner reported the overturned boat near Bodega Bay, about 70 miles north of San Francisco, about 10 a.m.

The lone survivor, Phillip Sanchez, 66, of Bodega Bay, told rescuers that they were returning in the privately owned 32-foot boat on the opening day of crabbing season. Sanchez said he managed to swim through the 9-foot swells and cling to sharp rocks until a California Highway Patrol helicopter rescued him.

A Coast Guard boat retrieved the bodies of the four victims, three men and one woman. Focha declined to release their names until their relatives were notified.

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