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Brothers Drown in Avalon Harbor Boating Accident

March 24, 1985

Two young brothers drowned when they became entangled in an anchor rope off Avalon Harbor, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported Saturday.

Deputies said the freak accident occurred about 9 p.m. Friday as John Phillips, 52, of Laguna Beach, and his sons were approaching their sailboat in a 15-foot dinghy.

The dinghy hit a buoy, tossing Phillips and his sons, John Christian, 17, and Eric, 12, overboard, investigators said. The dinghy--its motor still running--reportedly began circling the buoy, tangling the boys in the boat's anchor rope, which wound tightly around the buoy's submerged mooring cable.

Harbor patrolmen pulled the boys free but medical personnel were unable to revive them. Phillips' wife and daughter witnessed the accident from the family sailboat, officials said.

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