The Bay Area boating community is mourning the loss of an Oakland skipper widely known on Bay and Delta waters who died from injuries suffered when his boat rammed a Benicia Bridge abutment Sunday morning.
Peter Miller, 54, of Oakland suffered a serious head injury during the collision, which occurred at 9:35 a.m. as Miller was piloting his vessel under the bridge, hitting an abutment at approximately 24 knots (a little more than 27mph), according to Coast Guard Lt. Emily Rowan.
Rowan said the collision was recorded by multiple cameras in the area of the bridge and is under review by Coast Guard investigators. It was not immediately known why Miller, an experienced Bay skipper whose company was engaged in the service of rescuing boaters and vessels in distress, hit the bridge abutment.
Rowan said an emergency callout was made to the Coast Guard station in Vallejo and a small boat with crew aboard reached Miller’s vessel shortly after the collision, boarding the vessel and rendering life-saving measures after seeing that the captain had suffered serious injury.
Miller was taken to the Martinez Marina, Rowan said, where life-saving measures were continued until he was pronounced dead.
The owner of Miller’s company, Vessel Assist, was reached for comment on Miller’s death Wednesday but could not talk because he was assisting a boater.