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Man dies after yacht and sportfishing boat collide off San Diego coast

Man dies after yacht and sportfishing boat collide off San Diego coast
Richard Neff of San Clemente, injured in a collision at sea, is removed from a Coast Guard rescue helicopter on Friday. He later died. (Coast Guard Seaman Taylor Bacon)

A San Clemente man died of his injuries after a yacht and sportfishing boat collided last week about nine miles off the coast of Imperial Beach, a Coast Guard spokesman said Monday.

Richard Neff, 66, was pronounced dead about four hours after the crash Friday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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Coast Guard officials learned of his death a day later, Petty Officer 2nd Class Joel Guzman said.

Neff was injured a little before 6 p.m. Friday when the 322-foot vessel Attessa IV, a so-called superyacht, collided with the 65-foot sportfishing boat Prowler near the international maritime boundary, authorities said. The yacht’s crew contacted the Coast Guard in San Diego about 7:50 p.m. Friday to report the crash.

Neff, who was on a fishing trip with friends, “fell some distance and struck his head,” according to the medical examiner.

A helicopter crew airlifted Neff from the boat with grave injuries and took him to UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, where he died “despite aggressive resuscitative efforts.” He was pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m.

Figueroa writes for the San Diego Union Tribune. Union-Tribune staff writer Alex Riggins contributed to this report.

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