San Clemente man killed when yacht, sportfishing boat crash

SAN DIEGO – Authorities Tuesday identified a man who was killed when a sportfisher and a yacht collided offshore of Imperial Beach.

Richard Neff, 66, of San Clemente, was injured shortly before 6 p.m. Friday when the Prowler, a 65-foot sportfisher, and the 332-foot yacht Attessa IV collided about nine miles off Imperial Beach, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The yacht’s crew contacted Coast Guard Sector San Diego shortly before 8 p.m. to report the collision, which caused extensive damage to the starboard side of the Prowler, Coast Guard officials said.

Neff, who was aboard the Prowler on a fishing trip with friends, “fell some distance and struck his head,” the Medical Examiner’s Office said.

A helicopter crew airlifted Neff from the boat with critical injuries and transported him to UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, where he was pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m. “despite aggressive resuscitative efforts,” the Medical Examiner’s Office said.

A 45-foot response boat took 17 passengers, including two others who were injured, from the Prowler, Coast Guard officials said. Ten people returned to San Diego aboard the Attessa IV, which was still seaworthy.

The cause of the collision was under investigation, Coast Guard officials said.