Two men drown after boat accident in the delta

June 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A boat accident in the delta has taken the lives of two Oakland men. Johnny Johnson and Ace Moore died when their new boat capsized five miles west of Stockton. Another man survived. Sheriff's deputies recovered both of the men's bodies on Sunday.

All three men were related and the best of friends. According to their families; the two men died doing what they loved to do.

San Joaquin County Sheriffs deputies were just about to call off their search for Moore when they discovered his body near a tree Sunday night on Whiskey Slough near Stockton. Moore, 41, is one of three men who went fishing Saturday night on this boat he bought just 10 days ago. He and his cousin Johnson drowned when their boat capsized sometime early Saturday morning.

"My uncle grabs on to the boat and my cousin and my father didn't grab on quick enough," said Ace Moore Pittman Jr.

Moore Pittman Jr. is one of Moore's eight children. His uncle was rescued by a passing boat Sunday morning. Sunday night the families gathered in East Oakland. Both Johnson and Moore had eight children each. For them it was a devastating Fathers Day.

"It very hard for me because it is Fathers Day and all; I don't have someone to say happy Fathers Day to," said Moore Pittman Jr.

Seventeen-year-old Carmelita Johnson is struggling to cope.

"I deal with it ok and then reality set in every now and then," said Johnson.

The family says the men had outfitted this new boat with all the trimmings preparing it for fishing. The only thing missing when they went out Friday night were life jackets.

"Apparently no, my dad left his life jacket, his sister actually came to my mother house in the morning saying 'Ace left his life jacket at the house,'" said Moore Pittman Jr.

According to San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputies, life jackets would have saved the men. Jamecia Harris is the mother of Johnson's eight children aged 10 months to 19-years-old.

"I'm trying to explain to my kids that he's gone. They so young and they don't understand and I don't know how to explain it to them," said Harris.

Johnson's sister Linda is trying to see the bright side of this tragedy.

"He died doing what he loved to do with his best friends," said Johnson.

San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputies say the survivor told them someone stood up in the boat causing it to capsize. What the family can't figure out is why the men drowned they say both were strong swimmers. The incident is being investigated.

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