Man dies, teen survives after kayak tips over in Clear Lake

Clear Lake’s death toll has risen to five in a year that already was considered the deadliest in recent memory.

The lake’s latest victim is Kenneth Anthony Jacintho, 30, of Clearlake, Lake County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Brooks reported. The cause of death is pending an autopsy, but Jacintho is presumed to have drowned after his kayak overturned Sept. 2, Brooks said.

Jacintho was kayaking near Austin Park with a 16-year-old girl when their boat overturned, dumping them into the water, Brooks said.

They were on their way to an island to practice using a sword when rough waves turned the kayak sideways, then knocked it over, the girl told authorities.

Jacintho considered himself a swordsman and was known for carrying a sword around Clearlake, Brooks said.

A samurai-type sword was found strapped to the kayak when it was recovered, he said.

The girl told officers that Jacintho was swimming back toward the kayak, then yelled “no” before disappearing under the surface, Brooks said.

She was able to swim to shore and seek help.

The girl estimated the boat capsized about a mile offshore but it may have been closer to land, Brooks said, noting distance is difficult to gauge from the water.

Jacintho’s body was found by another kayaker on ?Monday about 30 yards offshore, Brooks said.

Neither Jacintho nor the girl had been wearing a life vest, he said, nor had any of this year’s other victims.

The previous deaths include James Michael Leale, 74, of San Jose and Clearlake Park, who died in May after the aging speedboat in which he was a passenger broke apart and sank; Walter Patrick Hoertkorn, 69, of Kelseyville, who was swimming near Riviera Heights Marina when he began to struggle, then disappeared under water; retired Petaluma Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Haberski, 59, who was sailing solo in his 25-foot boat in the Konocti Bay area on June 7 when he somehow ended up in the water; and Caldwell Joseph Pitre, 59, of Palo Alto, who fell into the water while tying up his boat at Clear Lake State Park the evening of June 26.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or

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