National Park Service volunteer dies in fall at Anacapa Island

A 65-year-old retired physicist and park volunteer with a passion for nature died this week when he tried to board a boat and fell, seriously injuring his head, officials said Thursday.

Joe Wysocki began volunteering at Channel Islands National Park in the mid-1990s as a naturalist.

Wysocki was “highly valued for his skills as an audio visual technician and camera operator for the park’s distance learning program Channel Islands Live,” officials said.


Wysocki’s fall was described as an accident that occurred Wednesday about 3:15 p.m. at Anacapa Island, where “Wysocki fell off the landing dock ladder as he was boarding the National Park Service (NPS) vessel Ocean Ranger,” according to a statement.

Wysocki “sustained a serious head injury,” and although officials said some of those around pulled him out of the water and tried to render aid, and paramedics tried to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead about 4 p.m.


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