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San Diego Man Lost Overboard From Scripps Research Vessel

July 07, 1986

A San Diego man was presumed lost at sea 130 miles northeast of the big island of Hawaii on Sunday after he apparently fell over the side of a research vessel operated by Scripps Institution of Oceannography in La Jolla.

Michael Reagan, 35, was last seen about 9:30 p.m. Friday as a Fourth of July barbecue concluded aboard the Melville, said Coast Guard Lt. (j.g.) Lyle Fleck.

Reagan was discovered missing shortly after midnight.

There were no witnesses to the incident, Fleck said. At the time, the seas were running about four feet, he said.

The Coast Guard sent a search and rescue airplane over the area Saturday and again Sunday, but by Sunday afternoon, only the Melville was continuing the search, Fleck said.

In San Diego, Scripps spokesman Chuck Colgan said Reagan, an electrician for the 245-foot ship, had worked for Scripps since February, 1985.

Colgan said Reagan's presumed death is the first fatality aboard a Scripps ship since a cook was killed in a galley fire in the 1930s.

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