EMERYVILLE -- Despite attempts to rescue him, a 61-year-old man drowned Tuesday night when he fell in his wheelchair into the Emeryville Marina, authorities said.
The name of the man, who lived on a boat at the marina, was not released pending notification of relatives. It was not immediately known why he had to use a wheelchair.
The incident happened about 6:05 p.m. Tuesday when the man was seen tilting in his wheelchair on a slip next to his boat at the marina, which is in the 3300 block of Powell Street.
Officer Brian Head said a woman heard a splash and could not see the man or the wheelchair. She ran to the location and saw bubbles in the water, prompting her to jump into the water to try and find the man.
Emergency personnel responded and an off-duty Emeryville firefighter jumped into the water to try and locate the handicapped man.
The wheelchair was found empty. The man was found by the firefighter in another slip area where he had apparently been carried by the current, Head said.
The man was not breathing. Emergency personnel tried to revive him before he was taken to Highland Hospital where he later died.
Head said authorities are investigating the death as an accident.