Boats, drones search for lost boater


Emergency crews rescued a man Tuesday evening and are searching in the dark for second victim whose canoe capsized off the coast of Fremont, according to a fire chief with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

One victim was in a raft and the other was in a canoe in the water south of the Dumbarton railroad trestle this afternoon when the canoe capsized.

The man in the raft used a cellphone to call for help at 4:38 p.m., telling dispatchers that the victim who had been in the canoe was in the water with no life vest.

An airboat was deployed, and it rescued the man in the raft within 20 to 30 minutes. The victim in the water was still unaccounted for at sunset.

Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said:

“We hope it’s going to end well, but any time nightfall hits when you’ve got someone in the water with no floatation, it’s hard to say. … We hope for the best.”

Aircraft have been deployed by the U.S. Coast Guard and the California Highway Patrol. Menlo Park firefighters and the Fremont Fire Department have both used drones to search the shoreline.

Firefighters from Redwood City, San Jose, Santa Clara, Fremont and Alameda County have all sent water rescue assets – and a total of six boats are currently engaged in the search, according to Schapelhouman.

Rescuers are using FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) technology, which can pick up a heat signature – but the victim has been in the water for more than an hour and may have gotten cold.

Schapelhouman said:

“Best case scenario, maybe he was able to swim to shore and he’s sitting someplace where we can’t see him. … It’s a big bay out there.”

As of 6 p.m. the second victim had not yet been located.

Gerardo Silver memorial scheduled for Jan. 31

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