by Ethan Stewart

Tragedy struck about a mile off Santa Cruz Island last week when
a local commercial fishing boat sank, killing two of the three men
onboard. Shortly after 8 p.m. Monday night, the Five G’s
vessel was drift netting for sea bass near Lady’s Harbor when it
violently rolled over, sending its three passengers — Captain
Clifton Kent, Mike Caligiuri, and Joseph Breck — overboard and
sinking the 35-foot boat in a matter of minutes. Though the U.S.
Coast Guard’s investigation is ongoing, a spokesperson reported
that, contrary to initial reports, it is “not likely that nets
catching or undercurrents played a role” in the incident. In the
ensuing chaos, the three men — battling 60-degree water, dense fog,
and 3-foot wind slop — used buoys and various floating objects to
help them swim toward shore. Along the way, the powerful currents
and body-numbing, disorienting effects of hypothermia eventually
overtook Caligiuri, 48, and Breck, 45. After swimming approximately
two hours, Kent made it to shore, where he spent the night huddled
on rocks before being rescued early Tuesday morning by a
Ventura-based dive boat. The accident brings the death toll of
fishermen in our local waters to 14 during the past two


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