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Scripps Howard News Service


June 14, 2005


SAN FRANCISCO - Eight people on a night cruise had been tossed from their sailboat into the frigid waters of Carquinez Strait when things went from bad to much worse.

A huge oil tanker headed to sea was bearing down on them, its crew unaware that the castaways were bobbing in the water near the upended hull of their sailboat directly in front of the tanker.

Only luck, a flashlight and the quick actions of a tugboat crew saved them from disaster by getting the tanker to swerve away.

"This boat was in the direct path of the ship," said Charles Jennings, the engineer on the tugboat Z-Four who saw the beam of the flashlight held by one of the castaways. "If we had not rescued them, best-case scenario the ship would have passed them and thrown them a huge wake, and there would have been a fatality."

One man was almost delirious and allowed his head to fall under the water, and his companion had to prop him up so he could breathe, Jennings said.

"His friend saved his life," Jennings said.

- San Francisco Chronicle


BOULDER, Colo. - A transient arrested for failing to register as a sex offender had about 20 keys marked with the addresses of homes, police said.

Patrick Gillespie, 32, also had drug paraphernalia, women's clothing, credit cards not in his name and bolt cutters inside his maroon van, police spokeswoman Julie Brooks said.

A police officer stopped Gillespie for traffic violations near the University of Colorado, Brooks said. The officer recognized Gillespie from an arrest for indecent exposure in 2002.

Gillespie was sentenced to six months in jail on the 2002 charge, according to court records. He also was found guilty of public indecency in 1999 and was sentenced to six months.

The credit cards and keys enabled police to connect Gillespie to as many as six other cases, Brooks said. Those cases include a May 29 theft and attempted vehicular assault at a Boulder store, she said, and a recent indecent exposure.

"There's several different things we're looking at him for," Brooks said. "We certainly think there's a possibility we'll connect him with other cases."

Police are trying to determine how Gillespie got the keys and credit cards.

- Rocky Mountain News


Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

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