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NEWS
February 21, 1990 | TRACY WILKINSON and JOEL SAPPELL, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Rescuer Cris Baitx, using first his fists, then his head, had twice punched his way out of the ice on Convict Lake and was going under for a third time. Panicked, he was drifting in and out of consciousness in the frigid waters where three teen-age boys had already disappeared and four other men struggled to stay afloat. "I was sure I was gone," Baitx told The Times on Tuesday. "I was thinking of my wife and kids and are they going to be OK, because I'm history." He was wrong.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2002
Authorities early Friday recovered the body of a woman who drowned in the California Aqueduct in this small Antelope Valley community west of Lancaster, sheriff's officials said. The woman, whose name was not released, went for a swim about 10 p.m. Thursday in the aqueduct and apparently got caught in an undercurrent, said Sheriff's Lt. Larry Gump. A male companion, who did not enter the aqueduct, called authorities.
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NEWS
February 20, 1990 | CATHLEEN DECKER and KENDAL PATE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Seven people apparently drowned in this freezing Sierra lake Monday, three of them teen-agers on a holiday skating party and four would-be rescuers. Another youth and a volunteer fire chief were plucked from the lake to safety. Witnesses described a dramatic and ultimately futile effort to rescue all the victims, in what ranks among the worst tragedies of its kind in the United States in at least a decade.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 1999
A child who fell through the ice on a pond and a man who tried to save him died after being submerged for more than two hours in the frigid water. "The 7-year-old broke through the ice . . . and the 27-year-old attempted to rescue him," said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Capt. Dennis Casey. "Unfortunately, the rescue efforts failed and both of them went down." The child was pronounced dead at the scene. The man, who has not been identified, died about 8 p.m.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 1988
Children under 5, the all-too-frequent victims of accidents in which they fall into swimming pools while left unattended, account for 21% of the drownings in California and 27% in Los Angeles County, according to a survey by the state. In addition, the number of young children institutionalized following a near-drowning accident more than doubled from 1984 to 1986.
NEWS
February 14, 1988 | GREGORY CROUCH, Times Staff Writer
FBI and Coast Guard officials Saturday night were investigating the drowning of a newlywed woman who fell off a cruise ship earlier in the morning, authorities said. The victim's husband was detained for questioning. Coast Guard Officer Elizabeth Fleming reported that investigators had found "a piece of scalp and some possessions" on the deck where the 27-year-old woman had fallen. Fleming said there was "a possible struggle."
NEWS
March 16, 1990 | JIM CARLTON and JOHN HURST, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The consulting psychiatrist for Camp O'Neal, the Sierra Nevada home for troubled youth central to the Convict Lake tragedy in which seven people drowned last month, was arrested Thursday in Newport Beach on suspicion of sexually abusing an adult patient. Newport Beach Police also served search warrants at Dr. James Harrington White's Newport Beach clinic, his Newport Beach home and his other residences in Palm Desert and Mammoth Lakes, near Camp O'Neal.
NEWS
February 23, 1990 | JOEL SAPPELL and CATHLEEN DECKER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The search for the last of seven people who drowned in this frozen Sierra lake was suspended Thursday to allow divers to rest and organizers to bring in more equipment. But as the recovery efforts quieted, a debate began over what, if anything, officials can do to guard against future tragedies. Recovery efforts were curtailed after the Truckee, Nev.
NEWS
February 24, 1990 | JOEL SAPPELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The two widows--one young, one older--clutched each other in a tearful embrace. Strangers before this moment, they were now bound by tragedy. "Be brave," a frail Ruth Anderson whispered to Terry Cutter. "They were both great men." The poignant meeting came Friday as more than 200 residents of this picturesque resort area crammed into the U.S.
NEWS
February 21, 1990 | JENIFER WARREN and JOEL SAPPELL, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Most of his friends figured he would die a hero, because when disaster erupted in the eastern Sierra Nevada, Vidar Anderson was almost always there. Forest fires, plane crashes, mountain rescues--these were like a call to arms for Anderson, 58, a volunteer member of the Long Valley Fire Department. Tall and wiry, the retired school bus driver would invariably be the first on the scene. He was aggressive, friends and colleagues said, selfless, and ever calm in the face of danger.
NEWS
July 4, 1998 | From Associated Press
A sailor training to become a Navy SEAL commando died a day after choking and losing consciousness during a survival swim in a pool, Navy officials said Friday. Gordon Racine Jr., 25, of Houston died Thursday night at Sharp Coronado Hospital after more than a day on life support, Navy Lt. Dee Dee Van Wormer said. The cause of death was not known. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.
NEWS
June 24, 1998 | TOM GORMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A belated but ferocious Sierra Nevada snowmelt has turned California's popular white water rivers into lethal lures for river rafters, claiming 11 lives so far this season--including nine in the past week alone. Some rivers have yet to reach peak flow, causing officials to brace for a death count that could far exceed the record number of white water deaths--12--that occurred in 1993.
SPORTS
June 20, 1998 | From Associated Press
As soon as the raft hit a submerged tree, it flipped, tossing everyone into the frothy brown Kern River, made a torrent by the sudden, post-El Nino snowmelt of the High Sierra. Five people and their guide swam to shore. But a 13-year-old from Boise, Idaho, disappeared. On Thursday, two days after the accident, search-and-rescue crews found the girl submerged beneath a log near the area where the raft capsized.
REAL ESTATE
June 15, 1997 | DAN GORDON
When it comes to pool safety involving young children, experts say, a number of myths have been perpetuated. Myth: Most drownings occur when a child is playing in or near a pool. Fact: In most cases, the child was last seen in the house doing something safe, such as sleeping, playing or watching TV. Myth: A drowning child can be heard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1996
A crew member of the tall ship Californian was presumed dead after she fell overboard Thursday into rough waters off Point Conception, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said. The Coast Guard called off its search for Maine native Dannielle Faucher, 23, about 2 p.m. Friday, nearly 24 hours after crew members saw her slip over the side.
NEWS
June 18, 1993 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A missing crewman was presumed dead after a Navy SH-60F Seahawk helicopter crashed at sea 25 miles off Imperial Beach, Navy officials said. The accident occurred during a training flight Tuesday morning. The missing crewman was identified as Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert A. Lee, 31. The pilot, Lt. John C. Begley, 29, and co-pilot Lt. Brian C. Westervelt, 28, were rescued immediately after the crash.
NEWS
February 21, 1990 | KENNETH REICH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The U.S. Forest Service, the agency with jurisdiction over Convict Lake, has set no standards for ice thickness, air temperature or other conditions to be met before the public is allowed to venture onto the frozen lake, a spokesman for the Forest Service said Tuesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 1991
Search teams have recovered the body of a Huntington Beach woman who drowned more than three weeks ago when she fell into Yosemite Valley's Merced River while taking pictures. The body of Michelle Boettcher, 23, was found in the river Monday evening about 100 yards downstream from the point where she fell on July 5, said Jeni Weber, Yosemite National Park Service spokeswoman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 1991
Search teams have recovered the body of a Huntington Beach woman who drowned more than three weeks ago when she fell into Yosemite Valley's Merced River while taking pictures. The body of Michelle Boettcher, 23, was found in the river Monday evening about 100 yards downstream from the point where she fell on July 5, said Jeni Weber, Yosemite National Park Service spokeswoman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 7, 1991 | LESLIE BERKMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The victim of an apparent drowning in Yosemite National Park was identified Saturday as Michelle Ann Boettcher, 23, of Huntington Beach. Boettcher fell into the frigid waters of the Merced River on Friday evening after climbing down to the river bank to take photographs, a National Park Service spokeswoman said. Norma L.
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