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Newspaper Archive of
The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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January 9, 2015     The Catalina Islander
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January 9, 2015
 

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8 eZ Ik. St(N~II ~ : :; Avalon Bay.~ By the time it Was~ From page I over !ess than 12 hours later,, two men were dead, at least ~six direction of the winds, which left yachts were destroyed in Avalon Avalon Bay completely exposed. The fact that such storms--includ- ing last week's--can occur sud- denly and without warning only adds to the danger. Trouble began in the early eve- ning when winds--initially out of the north--maneuvered unex- pectedly around to the northeast and east, barreling straight into Bay (with several destroyed out- side the harbor), along with the destruction of countless skiffs and other full-sized yachts up and down the coast. Wreckage littered, Pebbly Beach and two new 25-foot Parker powerboats were destroyed at Toyon Bay. A custom 36-foot landing was also damaged and left high and dry on the beach. At Campus By-The-Sea just east of Toyon, a pier was partially dam- aged along with two service craft used by the facility. Tragedy struck around 11 p.m. when the 65-foot charter scuba boat the King Neptune broke loose from its mooring and was driven toward Step Beach. Harbor Patrol Assistant Timothy Mitchell was aboard the Neptune attempting to not only save that craft, but also to prevent it from dragging other boats with it towards the beach. Some of those other boats along its trajec- tory had people on board and their lives were potentially saved by Tim's actions. As the King Neptune was roll- ing dangerously close to shore, witnesses said Mitchell attempted to leap from the boat to the cement seawall and to safety: But owing to a freak roll of the King Neptune, Mitchell's timing was thrown off and instead of reaching safety, he fell into the surf between the boat and shore. A subsequent wave then thrust the King Neptune against the seawall. Despite valiant attempts to res- cue Mitchell on the part of sher- iff's deputies, Harbor Patrol and other bystanders, he was killed in the incident. His body was recovered the following morning, Mitchell not only worked with the Harbor Department, he had been a reserve firefighter with the City of Avalon for the past five years and had been a scuba instructor on the Island--including aboard the King Neptune--for 10 years. At roughly the same time as Mitchell's tragedy, another agoniz- ing scene involving Bruce Ryder was playing out at the Marlin Club on Catalina Avenue. Ryder's pet dog Pretty Boy entered the bar soaking wet Pretty Boy and Bruce Ryder enjoying a bright Catalina Island day. (Courtesy photo) and shivering. Bartender Randy Jackson immediately felt it odd that "P.B" would be wandering around without his owner and called Bruce's cell phone. There was no answer. In the maelstrom of the storm, no one was sure about Ryder's whereabouts until early the next morning when his body was found in the bay. The remains of his demolished powerboat, Ocean Ryder, were found later not far from the ruins of the King Neptune. Most other vessel owners in the harbor were able to cheat fate, including Clint Palmer, owner of the 36-foot Fishin' Funatics. Palmer's Vietnam-era steel-hulled boat was on a mooring that posi- tioned him between shore and the Epic and King Neptune. "The Epic broke loose and then the King Neptune just broke loose," he said. "Both of them were on double cans and they still broke loose."Although the Epic was saved, the King Neptune contin- ued to bear down on his boat. "(The King Neptune) got the boat next to me and then that's when I dropped my lines and drove outside the harbor," Palmer said. After some effort, Palmer located an outside mooring can and spent a rough several hours with his electronics screaming alarms at him all night. Although the move cost Palmer his little red Zodiac skiff, his actions quite pos- sibly saved his life. As of press time Wednesday, Jan. 7, much of the debris and beached boats had been cleared from Avalon beaches. At Step Beach, the location of the remnants of both Ryder's boat and the King Neptune, divers were busy clearing submerged debris. A number of wreaths, votive candles and flowers sadly mark the spot of two tragedies. A memorial was scheduled to be held yesterday for Mitchell at the Casino Dive Park followed by a flotilla to Little Farnsworth Bank off Pebbly Beach for the scattering of ashes. Greg Bombard of Catalina Express scheduled a special cross-channel ferry--at no charge to passengers--specifi- cally for those wishing to attend. A "Celebration of Life" for Ryder will be held tomorrow beginning at 11 a.m. at the Marlin Club. The tribute will be potluck-style and all are welcome to come share their stories of Ryder. Harbor Department From page 1 The ~ .... C WL10L ISh O0 B Founded in 1913 by Ernest Windle Publisher Vince Bodiford vince@thecatalinalslander.com General Manager Jon Remy advertising@thecatalinalslander.corn Office Assistant Kristy Throndson offlce@thecatalinalslander.corn Graphic Designer Christy Smith Multimedia Director Franco Te francote@communitymediaus.corn 635 CRESCENT AVENUE SUITE A AVALON, CA 90704 (310) 510-0500 FAX: (310) 510-2882 Postmaster: Send address changes to The Catalina Islander P.O. Box 428, Avalon, CA 90704 DEADUNIES Calendar: Noon Monday I News: 5 p.m. Monday I Dtsplay Advertising: 2 p.m. Tuesday I Classified Advertising: Noon Tuesday ] Legal/Public Notices: 5 p.m. Monday Send to manager@cinews.us One Year Subscription: Catalina .............................................. $39 Mainland ............................................ $48 Subscriptions via First Class Mail are available for $8O/year A Publication of CommunltyMedla Corporation. CATALINA ISLANDER (USPS 093-140) Acceptance under 39C, F.R. 3464 periodicals postage paid at Avalon, CA 90704 and other additional offices. Adjudication Decree No. 377598. Date of Adjudication: Oct. 4, 1934 Exact Name of Newspaper as shown in the Petition for Adjudication: The Catalina Islander. Published weekly at 101 Marilla Avenue, #6 Avalon, CA 90704. The entire contents of The Catalina Islander are copyrighted by The Catalina Islander. No part may be repro- duced in any fashion without written consent of the publisher. This publication is printed almost entirely on recycled paper. Contents Copyright 2015 and Title Registered, Catalina Islander, Inc., All Rights Reserved, PROUD MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION ISLAND SPA talina To book an appointment, please call 877. 778.6454 163 Crescent Avenue Avalon, CA90704 i islandspacatalina.com "He died as he tried to save the King Neptune, a boat upon which he had also served as a dive instructor here on Catalina Island for approximately the past l0 years. Nearly 40 years old, Tim was a native of New Zealand, but a recent United States citizen. "He held joint degrees in reli- gious studies and sociology, and was an accomplished musician, playing multiple instruments. "Tim recently joined the Harbor Department in May of this year. However, he had served the city for the past five years as a reserve firefighter. In addition to his city family, Tim also enjoyed a close, extended family at ScubaLuv-- home of the King Neptune--where he worked as a dive instructor, and was looked up to by all of his peers. He was a 'second father' to Bob and Tina Kennedy's children (Bob and Tina being the owners of ScubaLuv, of course). "Tim leaves behind a mother, father, two brothers and Michelle Rodriguez, his girlfriend. He will be missed by all those who knew him. Our condolences to Tim's family--both biological and extended. Please join me in acknowledging the tragic loss of one of our own family members-- this hero, Tim Mitchell--and his ultimate sacrifice in serving the City of Avalon. "Thank you, EVERYONE, for your prayers and condolences. For donations to the Mitchell Family, please make checks payable to the Avalon Harbor Employees Association, PO Box 1085, Avalon, CA 90704." 2~i Friday, January 9, 2015 THE CATALINA ISLANDER