SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- One person is confirmed dead after two boats collided nine miles offshore from Imperial Beach. Fishermen on the “Prowler” were on their way back from Mexican Waters when their boat collided with a mega-yacht, the "Attessa IV" Friday night. One of the survivors on the Prowler spoke exclusively with 10News about his experience.
It was supposed to be a fun overnight fishing trip for father-son duo Hung and Ken Ngo. Instead, they came back with an unbelievable survival story.
The two anglers from Westminster were with 15 other sport-fishermen on the Prowler, when the collision happened.
"Loud. Something hit the boat hard. Like Bang!” Ngo said.
The United States Coast Guard said the 65-foot fishing boat collided with a 332-foot mega yacht, the Attessa IV, just after 7 pm Friday.
Ngo immediately woke up from his nap and ran up to the top deck. What he saw was a completely different Prowler.
"The whole right side of the deck was gone,” Ngo said. “The rail, everything. It looked like wow. Somebody just cut it off."
There was a gaping hole on the right side, but somehow the boat remained afloat.
All the uninjured passengers were transported to the Attessa IV, which only suffered a few scratches.
Two people were rescued via Coast Guard helicopter and taken to the hospital.
At least one fisherman has been confirmed dead.
"I got lucky that we slept on the left-hand side,” Ngo said. “I know the people who got hit on the right-hand side. I know if my son or I slept on the right-hand side, that would be a different story. It could be me."
But what puzzled Ngo the most is why this slow-speed accident happened in the first place?
Ngo said he does not recall any honks, beeps, or alerts before the crash.
“Nothing whatsoever,” he said.
He said even in pitch black, foggy weather, both boats should have a radar system that gives them fair warning of other vessels nearby.
Had they been working properly, either captain would have had several dozen minutes to change their course.
"How could a boat hit another boat a night? I mean, with all these electronics? It's just amazing,” Ngo said.
The Coast Guard is investigating what caused the crash. They are also looking into why there seemed to be no warning before the collision.