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Niland man dies in fishing mishap

February 23, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH, Staff Writer

BOMBAY BEACH — An early morning fishing trip ended in tragedy this morning for a Niland resident.

The victim, whose name has not been released pending notification of relatives, was fishing with friends on the bank of the Coachella Canal in the Bombay Beach area.

According to county Coroner Investigator Deputy Gary Hayes, the man's companions, who were fishing farther down the canal, said they heard a splash and when they went to investigate, saw the body of their friend floating in the canal.

One member of the fishing party drove into Niland to get assistance while the other fisherman stayed on the canal bank, waiting for the return of the rescue party.

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Members of the Bombay Beach Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the scene about 7 a.m. and retrieved the body from between Drop 15 and Drop 17 — five miles from where the victim had fallen into the fast-flowing canal.

Hayes said the preliminary cause of death was drowning. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

>> Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or dingo87@earthlink.net

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