CRUIT, Patrick R. (1959-2011), 52, drowned while attending the 22nd annual Buccaneer Days at the Isthmus, Santa Catalina Island. Cruit was cremated and his cremains were among those left unclaimed Los Angeles County Crematory. They were interred at the Los Angeles County Crematorium Cemetery in Boyle Heights on December 10, 2014 by the Department of Decedent Affairs.
According to an eye witness account: “...The two guys in front of us were talking about the guy who died the night before. I butted in and asked them what had happened, and he told me that a guy late last night had drowned. I got chills. That's why I saw the ambulance. I immediately thought of what might have been the last thought going through his head as he descended into the black sea floor, air escaping his lungs where just a moment before, he was probably laughing with friends feeling on top of the world. I was in a slight state of shock from then on. A bit later I saw a sheriff in a truck and asked him about the drowned man. He told me that a man was walking along the dock returning to his boat, fell, hit his head on the dock and fell in the water. Several people that were there jumped in after him, but because of the dark could not grab onto him. I don't know if they found his body that night or the next morning, because when we were boarding the Catalina Express, there were police boats tied up to the dock. I asked the sheriff how many people die there on average and to my surprise he said "On the Island? At least one every other day." He then said that there's at least one death every Buccaneer Days festival. How's that for reality?”
- Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Case Number 2011-06423
- Other significant conditions: Blunt head trauma (by history), ethanol use, obesity, hypertensive atherosclerotic heart disease
In the News~
December 30, 2011 [TI/Avalon]: “Man dies at Buccaneer Day. The victim fell into the water as he was getting into his dinghy. He hit his head and went under. A man died in Two Harbors on Saturday night, Oct. 1, apparently after hitting his head on a float while trying to board his dinghy, according to a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department report. The man was identified as Patrick Cruit, 52, of Costa Mesa. According to the report, Los Angeles Sheriff Bruce Strelow was on the Isthmus Pier late that night when he saw Coast Guard and Baywatch personnel running to help a man who had apparently fallen off one of the three dinghy docks. At about 10:40 p.m., Cruit was on the northwest side of the dinghy dock. Cruit tried to sit down on the edge of the float. His backside apparently missed the float and he fell into the water. Cruit hit his head on the float as he went into the water west of the dock, according to the Strelow report. A Baywatch paramedic dove under the dock and found Cruit unconscious and submerged at about 10:43 p.m. Four Baywatch paramedics worked on him on the surface. He was pronounced dead at 11:13 p.m. Strelow and another deputy transported Cruit's body to Avalon Harbor by boat.”