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Fisherman Dies During Trip Out of Oxnard

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Joyful chaos turned to tragedy Wednesday aboard a popular sportfishing boat out of Oxnard, when a passenger collapsed and died during a wide-open albacore bite 85 miles offshore.

The identity of the man, believed to be in his mid-60s, was not released, pending notification of his family.

Capt. John Fuqua of Cisco Sportfishing’s the Cat Special said the man collapsed about 5 p.m. just after landing a 20-pound albacore.

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CPR was administered but the crew could not find a pulse. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified at 4:56 p.m. and a helicopter arrived on the scene--31 miles southwest of San Miguel Island--at 6.

“The man still was not breathing and had no vital signs,” Chief Petty Officer Danny Phee said. “They administered CPR all the way back, but doctors in the emergency room [at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital] pronounced the man dead one minute after he arrived.”

Fuqua, who had left the fishing grounds to reduce the flying time of the helicopter, said he took a vote of the other passengers after the airlift on whether they wanted to resume fishing.

“They all said they believed the guy would have wanted us to keep fishing, so we went back out and took care of a few more albacore,” he said.

The boat returned Wednesday night with 240 fish.

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