LINCOLN CITY — A Washington man died in a boating incident in Lincoln City on Saturday, March 21.
At about 1 p.m. Saturday, witnesses on the shores of Devils Lake in Lincoln City called 911 to report a person in the water and a boat attempting to retrieve them. Witnesses described the subject as being in distress prior to seeing him go under the water.
North Lincoln Fire & Rescue (NLFR), Lincoln City Police and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol responded to the scene. NLFR arrived and deployed their rescue skis. Rescuers contacted two occupants in the boat and determined that Steve Ton, 60, of Seattle, was missing and last seen going under the water.
Rescuers located the victim approximately 15 feet underwater and were able to retrieve him. Ton was transported to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol conducted an investigation and learned a 17-foot Alumacraft boat, operated by Michael Mascio, 57, of Lincoln City, was offshore from Holmes Park when the boat made a turn and crossed its own wake. During the maneuver, Ton, who was seated near the transom of the boat, fell overboard.
The investigation revealed that Mascio turned the boat around and motored over to where the passenger went overboard, left the controls of the boat and dove into the water. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to rescue Ton. Mascio was also transported to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries sustained during the rescue attempt.
During the investigation, it was revealed there were two Type III life jackets onboard the vessel but none in use during the incident. Mascio was issued a citation for insufficient number of personal flotation devices. The investigation found no criminal conduct.