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Tuesday, July 4, 2000

Nevada sport
fisherman dies
after capsizing
off Waianae

Coast Guard chopper crew
rescues two others
from the ocean

By Leila Fujimori


A 67-year-old recreational fisherman died yesterday after a Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew plucked him and two other men from the sea.

Ellsworth Goodwin of North Las Vegas, Nev., was pronounced dead at Tripler Hospital at 1:20 p.m., about an hour after the boat he was on capsized 19.7 miles from Waianae Boat Harbor. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.

A 35-year-old man, who was rescued, told police that Ellsworth's left foot was tangled in fishing line, making it difficult for him to stay afloat after the 26-foot boat capsized.

The witness went to assist Ellsworth and managed to get him to the surface but could not free his foot from the line, police said.

Ellsworth was not breathing when he was brought to the surface, according to the police report.

A private fishing boat, the Blue Nun II, took the two other men ashore. Both were uninjured.

The witness said he radioed for help when the boat began taking on water. A person on land reported hearing a call for help on his citizens band radio, which the Coast Guard does not monitor.

The Coast Guard responded at 12:06 p.m.

Chief Petty Officer David Santos called the incident a tragedy.

"CB radio is for truckers," Santos said. "VHF radio is for communication on the water."

"Recreational fisherman need to know that the CB radio and cell phone are not the way to go," Santos said. "They definitely need a marine radio," Santos said.

Cellular phones and CB radios are unreliable if they go out of range or their batteries die, he noted.

For vessels on the open ocean, a Global Positioning System, which allows the Coast Guard to pinpoint a boat's location, is indispensable, Santos said.

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