Brian Bray, Harbor Master of Avalon Bay Harbor Patrol on the Santa Catalina Island in California sadly reports the death of Harbor Patrol Officer Timothy Mitchell.
Officer Mitchell, 39, was killed when he was crushed between the King Neptune, a 65 foot charter scuba boat and a cement retaining wall near the Green Pleasure Pier in Avalon Bay.
Several boats, including the King Neptune, had broken free from their moorings as a result of a severe Nor’easter storm that struck during the late evening hours. Officer Mitchell was attempting to secure the King Neptune and keep it from sinking when it came dangerously close to the rocks and cement retaining wall of the harbor.
While securing the King Neptune, the boat was struck by several intense waves and Officer Mitchell attempted to jump to safety on the retaining wall but was washed overboard and crushed as the King Neptune slammed into the retaining wall. Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies and other Harbor Patrol Officers attempted to rescue Officer Mitchell from the heaving seas but were unable to reach him. His body was recovered about 11:00 am the following morning.
Harbor Patrol Officer Mitchell had served with the Avalon Harbor Patrol for only seven months. He had also served the City of Avalon as a fire fighter and dive instructor aboard the King Neptune. A native of New Zealand, he is survived by his parents, two brothers and his girlfriend.
Harbor Patrol Officer Timothy Mitchell-gone, but never forgotten. EOW: Tuesday, December 30, 2014
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