One dead, one missing after Poker Run capsize - Soundings Online

One dead, one missing after Poker Run capsize

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JULY 12 - A Rhode Island man died and a Wisconsin man was missing after the 42-foot high-performance boat they were aboard capsized Saturday near Holland, Mich., during the Smoke on the Water Poker Run on Lake Michigan.

John Desousa Jr., 20, of Bristol, R.I., died from injuries sustained when he went overboard as the driver of the boat was attempting to make a turn, according to a news report. Mike Scaffidi, 42, of Hartland, Wis., had yet to be found and is believed to have died.

Investigators believe David S. Morse, 62, of California — who was driving the boat — overcompensated for a missed turn, slowing from about 110 mph to 70 mph, when the boat overturned, according to the report. Morse and a fourth passenger, Robert W. Russell, 44, of Washington state, survived the accident and were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Authorities say Desousa and Scaffidi were wearing PFDs, but the straps apparently broke upon impact with the water.

Coast Guard officials say the boat was participating in the poker run, which involves participants making stops at various locations to collect cards for a hand of poker. Hosted by Poker Runs Offshore LLC, the Smoke on the Water Poker Run has been held annually since 2001 and benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Jason Fell