An autopsy on the body of a woman who fell off a small boat in Dana Point Harbor this weekend and drowned was inconclusive so far, but investigators do not suspect foul play, a sheriff’s spokesman said Monday.
It wasn’t known if alcohol may have played a role in the death, but officials said the dead woman and her distraught husband had some drinks at a yacht club before the drowning.
The victim was with her husband in a small boat at 12:30 a.m. Saturday, heading to a larger boat where they planned to spend the night when “somehow she fell in (the water),” said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.
The woman was identified as Eileen Taylor, 65, of Dana Point, according to the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office. Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Stichter said further tests were ordered to finalize the cause of death, but there were no signs of foul play.
The woman’s husband tried to rescue her, Concialdi said.
“The husband dove in, was able to locate her and pulled her head above water,” Concialdi said. The man yelled for help and Harbor Patrol deputies responded, pulling the woman onto the dock where they began CPR.
Stichter said the couple “had some drinks” at the yacht club, adding that it was “completely undetermined” if alcohol was a factor in the drowning tragedy.
The drowning was in the west basin of the harbor, said Orange County sheriff’s Lt. John Roche.
Paramedics began advanced life support when they arrived and took the woman, in her 60s, to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, Concialdi said. Emergency room staff worked to revive the woman but finally pronounced her dead at 1:32 a.m.
“The husband was obviously very distraught,” Concialdi said. “He did everything he could.”
The woman’s death was the 15th drowning in Orange County in 2016, the captain said. “We’re just getting into the warm months.”
Fifty people died in the county from drowning in 2015, Concialdi said.
–City News Service