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Driver Dies in Power Boat Crash

The driver of a power boat was killed Saturday in Mission Bay when his craft overturned while racing about 90 m.p.h., authorities said.

The identity of the victim was not immediately available.

The accident occurred about 1:25 p.m., police said, when the 16-foot craft, equipped with an outboard motor, was attempting a turn between Fiesta Island and Vacation Isle, off the stretch of bayfront known as Ski Beach.

The ill-fated craft was one of eight or nine in the half-hour marathon race, which was sponsored by the Pacific Power Boat Club, said Lt. Ken Hewitt, with the city lifeguard service’s boating-safety unit.

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No other boats were hit, Hewitt said. The club had the required permit, which is issued jointly by the Coast Guard and San Diego, Hewitt said.

The driver was trapped beneath the boat 30 to 35 seconds before being rescued by safety crews, officials said. He was wearing a helmet but suffered extensive head injuries, officials said.

After emergency treatment at the scene, the driver was taken by Life Flight helicopter to UC San Diego Medical Center, where he died.

Racing was suspended immediately after the accident, but the competition resumed after a delay of up to two hours. The race was just one of various events scheduled by the club during Saturday and Sunday.

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Wind conditions at the time of the accident were described as slight.


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