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Yacht Slips Beneath Barge, Killing Couple

Mon., April 7, 1997

A pleasure boat with 11 people on board took on water in strong currents Sunday and was carried underneath a barge, killing a German couple.

A U.S. Coast Guard boat 100 yards away started to respond when the 25-foot boat nose-dived under the barge at about 2:30 p.m., Petty Officer David French said.

“All of them began bailing and then they began slipping underneath the barge,” he said. “It happened really fast.”

The pleasure boat went under the barge and came out the other side, engines still running and “semi-refloated,” French said.

The body of Josef Federl, 62, was dragged out of the water by a tug boat crew, who tried to revive him, officials said. The body of his wife, Maria Anna Federl, 58, was found wedged under the barge. They were from Roth, Germany, officials said.

The Coast Guard rescued the rest from the water, including a family of five with three children ages 7, 9 and 12. Their relationship to the dead was not known.

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