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Two Hospitalized After Pleasure Boat Capsizes

Special to The Times

Two men were hospitalized after their pleasure boat was swamped by waves and capsized Sunday off the north coast of Santa Cruz Island.

The boat, which began a daylong fishing trip from Ventura Harbor, was anchored in an unsafe direction for wind and sea conditions when it took on water about 11:10 a.m., tossing the owner and five passengers into the ocean near Potato Harbor, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Wilkins.

“There were Santa Ana winds, and somehow the stern got into the swell and a wave just broke into the boat and swamped it,” Wilkins said, adding that the sunken boat remained fast to its anchor.

The owner of the boat, 47-year-old David Kuo of Tarzana, put out a distress call that was picked up by the crew of the Jeffrey Arvid, a 65-foot passenger vessel nearby. It arrived 15 minutes later. One man, Hong Wei Zhu, 42, was pulled from the water semiconscious and another, 64-year-old Spencer Chueng, was coughing up blood, according to Coast Guard officials.

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Two men boarded the Jeffrey Arvid and two others swam about 120 feet to some nearby rocks, where they clung until the Coast Guard arrived.

Zhu and Chueng were airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter to Columbia Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks. Zhu was treated and released, and Chueng was listed in guarded condition Sunday evening, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Kuo was not injured. The three other passengers were identified as Hung Thai Hua of Rosemead, Jeremy Lai of Walnut and Bing Zhou of Alhambra. All four were taken by Coast Guard utility boat to Ventura Harbor.


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