San Quentin inmates mount rescue after boating accident
San Quentin Prison staffers and inmates helped pull two boaters to shore near the facility early Wednesday.
April 20th, 2011
10:40 PM ET

San Quentin inmates mount rescue after boating accident

Inmates at California's San Quentin prison helped rescue two boaters - one of whom later died - who had fallen into frigid San Francisco Bay early Wednesday, authorities said.

A San Quentin officer alerted the prison's inmate-staffed, in-house fire department around 1 a.m. after hearing faint calls for help and seeing a man and a woman in the water near the facility's shoreline, prison spokesman Lt. Sam Robinson said.

Prison staffers and 10 fire department inmates went into the water and grabbed the man, who was without a life jacket, and lifted him over a retaining wall to get him on land, Robinson said. San Rafael Fire Department personnel arrived and helped rescue the woman, who was wearing a life jacket.

The man, who was breathing but apparently unconscious when he was rescued, went into cardiac arrest on shore, Robinson said.

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Filed under: California
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Joey

    What a sad report to read just before going to sleep!
    The inmates might have used this as an opportunity to escape. They saved a life instead, and almost saved another.
    In a recent comment here, someone said that there are no all-good or all-bad humans. This rescue is an example.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red

      l wish l could tell you that Andy fought the good fight, and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that – but prison is no fairy-tale world. He never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile – prison life consists of routine, and then more routine.

      April 21, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    I agree Joey and maybe this will inspire others to be more charitable to their fellow man. A drowning person isnt gonna quibble over who rescues him. Maybe it will also help the inmates feel like they have a shot at redemption too. Win-Win. My condolences to the victims family and the woman he was with. So sad to be rescued only to die on shore.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy Dufresne

      How can you be so obtuse?

      April 21, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. MaDukes

    I agree too. Condolences to their family and friends.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy Dufresne

      You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That's where l want to Iive the rest of my Iife. A warm pIace with no memory.

      April 21, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. ole Lady

    I got hijacked tonight. I feel soooooo violated.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Andy Dufresne

      That's the beauty of music. They can't get that from you...

      April 21, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. ommrudraksha

    Agreed Joey. Fellow men will be inspired with your blog. our condolences with the victim.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Warden Samuel Norton

      I have to say that's the most amazing story I've ever heard. What amazes me most is that you were taken in by it.

      April 21, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. sandyk

    Many thanks to the MEN who risked their lives. you are the bright spot in the morning! You had another choice but for whatever reason did the right thing.

    April 21, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Andy Dufresne

      It's my life. Don't you understand? IT'S MY LIFE!

      April 21, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Toad

    Thank you Princess! But Mario is in another castle!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Red

      In 1966, [Princess Toadstool] escaped from Shawshank prison. All they found of [her] was a muddy [pink dress], a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, d@mn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it. [The Princess] did it in less than twenty. Oh, [she] loved [plumbing]. I imagine it appealed to [her] meticulous nature. An [clog] here, million [miles] of [piping] there. [Plumbing] is the study of pressure and [pipes]. That's all it takes really, pressure, and [pipes]. That, and a big g0dd@mn poster. Like I said, in prison a [woman] will do most anything to keep [her] mind occupied. Turns out [Toadstool's] favorite hobby was totin' [her] wall out into the exercise yard, a handful at a time. I guess after [Luigi] was killed, [she] decided [she'd] been here just about long enough. [The Princess] did like [she] was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The guards simply didn't notice. Neither did I... I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a [woman's] shoes? [The Princess] crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of $hlt smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards... that's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

      April 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy

    Condolences to this man's family.

    @Joey & raven: True. I agree with both of you.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |