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Deckhand chokes to death as kids watch

April 2, 2009 6:05:50 AM PDT
A school field trip turned into a horrifying incident for a group of elementary school children Friday after a deckhand choked to death while trying to amuse the students. The incident happened when they were aboard the charter boat Gale Force on a fishing trip along the Long Beach breakwater on Friday.

To amuse the children, deckhand Jeff Twaddle put a bait fish in his mouth. It lodged in his throat, and he lost consciousness.

Attempts to dislodge the fish and to perform CPR failed, and 54-year-old Twaddle died.

The boat's owner, Capt. Dan Salas told the Long Beach Press Telegram, "It's a tragic, freak accident. We're all so saddened by this," the boat's owner Capt. Dan Salas told the Press-Telegram.

About 20 children from an LAUSD elementary school witnessed the accident.

The district sent a note home to their parents, offering grief counseling for the students who might be upset about what happened.


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