Man identified in fatal boating accident near Redwood City

A man killed Wednesday night in a boating accident near Redwood City has been identified as a 39-year-old from Burlingame.
April 17, 2014 11:56:03 PM PDT
The victim of a deadly boating accident on the Peninsula Wednesday night has been identified. An official with the yacht club is shedding some light on who was on the sailboat.

Though police still have questions they want answered, they say this is not a criminal investigation.

Authorities have now identified the man who died last night on this sailboat as 39-year-old Yong Sun of Burlingame. He was participating in a sailboat race with the Sequoia Yacht Club in Redwood City.

There were a total of four people onboard. Yet Winston Bumpus, the club's commodore, says the victim was not a member of the club.

"As I understand, only one was a member," Bumpus said. "I think one may have been a perspective member the others were guests."

Redwood City police investigators say the boat got too close to a permanent channel marker and the rigging got entangled with it. The mast then snapped and came crashing down onto the crew, killing Sun and hitting another man in the head. He is in serious but stable condition. He was also a guest onboard.

One witness described the chaos as the boat came in to the dock.

"They were frantic," he said. "They were telling everybody cause there were people coming in on other sailboats and there were people driving in saying 'get out of the way, get out of the way, we gotta go.' So they zoomed up quick. The moment they zoomed up the EMTs raced down to the bottom of the dock."

The men were participating in the club's weekly 'beer can' race. This was the club's first one of the season. The club's commodore explains yacht clubs around the country hold these races.

"So those typically are called beer cans, it's not a name we came up with," Bumpus said. "It's a name used for informal races held during the week and not a regular regatta or series race."

Redwood City police interviewed the boat owner and do not think he was under the influence of alcohol. They are investigating this as an accident.

The Sequoia Yacht Club has decided to cancel the race for the next couple of weeks out of respect for the victims.

"It was devastating," Bumpus said. "When I got here last night to the club we were just in shock. It's not what you expect when you head out to have a fun evening with friends."

The boat, called "The Bella," is still docked at the club.

The boat owner is a member of the yacht club. According to police, he passed a sobriety test at the scene and gave a blood sample. They say he was at the helm at the time of the accident. Now they're just trying to figure out what went wrong.

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