Swimmer Likely Killed By Ship Strike; Fifth Body To Wash Ashore In Less Than A Month

Madalyn Aaron | April 30, 2021

A man whose body washed ashore in San Francisco this weekend likely suffered fatal injury from a ship strike, city health officials announced Saturday.

The San Francisco Police Department investigated the man’s death in a necropsy conducted on Saturday afternoon.

Investigators said in a statement, “Ship strikes are a significant threat to swimmers, so this investigation helps us understand the challenges we face and inform decision-makers so swimmers can safely share the ocean with commercial boats.”

Initially reported to center early Friday morning by the U.S. Coast Guard, the man was sighted swimming offshore west of the Golden Gate Bridge. By Friday night, he landed at Fort Funston.

During Saturday’s necropsy, scientists discovered significant bruising and hemorrhaging to muscle around the man’s neck vertebrae consistent with blunt force trauma due to a ship strike.

The team identified the man as a 46-year-old local high school math teacher whose body was moderately decomposed.

The San Francisco Police Department and EMS services have responded to six other swimmer deaths in its 46-year history. Five of the six died from trauma due to ship strike.

The events described in this piece never actually occurred. This article was originally published by CBS San Francisco and was about a fin whale, not a person, being hit and killed by a boat. The original article has been heavily modified and posted here for artistic purposes. The word “whale” was replaced with the word “man” and the word “animal” was replaced with “person” among other significant changes.

Since 2016, there have been 239 accounts of whales being killed in the US as a result of ship strikes, one third of which were endangered species. There are likely at least ten times as many whale deaths that remain undocumented: the majority of whales hit by ships sink or die without ever being accounted for.