By WPPilot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
What may have been a day of fun turned to deadly tragedy Saturday off Catalina Island with the deaths of three people and the injury of four others when their 22-foot boat capsized, authorities said.

Two of the injured were in critical condition. All of the seven people on board were described by authorities only as males. Their ages or any other details were not yet available pending notification of relatives by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

The boat outing may have been for recreation, but there was no confirmation of why the people were out in island waters.

Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched to the location at 9:32 a.m., according to a county fire department dispatcher.

A witness reported that the skiff with seven people on board had overturned near Salta Verde Point on the backside of the island, Sondra-Kay Kneen of the U.S. Coast Guard said. Waves in the area were reported to be between four and six feet.

A good Samaritan rescued two people from the water and reported seeing another person on the rocks. A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued the person from the rocks, Kneen said.

Baywatch Isthmus and Baywatch Avalon recovered three bodies from the water, and a Catalina Island Conservancy officer located the seventh person on the beach, she said.

The three fatalities died at the scene.

The Coast Guard transported one person to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics took the other three people to area hospitals, Kneen said.

–Staff and wire reports

 

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