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San Jose man pulled under by crab pot, drowns in Tomales Bay

The man who drowned Sunday morning near the mouth of the Tomales Bay was identified Monday as a 40-year-old San Jose man.

Thong Hoang Nguyen died after he was pulled underwater when he got tangled in a crab-pot rope, the Marin County coroner told the Marin Independent Journal.

Three people were in the 16-foot long skiff, two men and a woman, when the accident occurred about 800 yards from Lawson's Landing sometime after 9 a.m.

"It appears at this point that somehow this individual's foot got entangled by a rope that was attached to a crab pot, essentially pulling him overboard and into the surf," said John Dell'Osso, a Pt. Reyes National Park official.

The man was not wearing a life vest, Dell'Osso said.

Divers flown in by helicopter reached the man about 30 minutes after he went into the water, he said.

Lawson's Landing co-owner Willy Vogler was one of the first people on scene, racing out to the area where the man went into the water after the other two returned to the landing for help.

There is a reef in that area, and it's possible the crab pot became stuck on the reef and the line tightened as the boat drifted away from the reef in strong currents, Vogler said.

That might also explain why the other occupants of the boat weren't able to pull him back up after he went in, he said.

The divers had to cut him free from the ropes to recover his body, Vogler said.


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