Charlelston (KMTR) – A deckhand on a sailing vessel fell overboard and drowned Sunday in Coos Bay, according to the Coos County Sheriff’s Office.
The accident happened about near the entrance to Charleston Harbor as the vessel “Idaho” was sailing out into the bay. The boat’s captain said when he became aware the man was in the water, he dropped the sails and tried to use the boat’s motor to pick up Robert Partipilo, 43, of Coos Bay, who was not wearing a life jacket. The captain said a line from the sails became caught in the propeller, causing the boat to lose power and he was forced to drop the anchor.
About the same time, two nearby kayakers saw Partipilo in the water and tried to reach him, but they said he slipped beneath the surface before they could get there and did not come back up.
The boat’s captain radioed a mayday message but a Coast Guard rescue boat was not able to get to the scene quickly enough to help.Divers from the North Bend Fire Department and the Coos County Sheriff’s Office were called out and began searching the water. About two hours later Patipilo’s body was found and recovered.