Beloved Longshoreman Plunges to Death in Oakland

A local longshoreman who had worked at the Port of Oakland for more than 50 years died at the port Friday

By Lisa Fernandez and Wires
|  Monday, May 20, 2013  |  Updated 6:47 AM PDT
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The Port of Oakland will shut down for 24 hours following a deadly crash that cost the life of a man who has worked at the port for more than 50 years.

The Port of Oakland will shut down for 24 hours following a deadly crash that cost the life of a man who has worked at the port for more than 50 years.

The Coast Guard jumped into action Friday after a truck with a person inside plunged into the water at the Port of Oakland, and ultimately was found dead.

The report was made from Berth 30 in the 2800 block of Seventh Street just before 2 p.m. Firefighters and dive teams also responded to the scene.

From the NBC Bay Area helicopter, at least three scuba divers jumped into the narrow canal area about 2:15 p.m. and a large metal boom had been lowered into the water in the hopes of finding the vehicle, which appeared to be submerged.

Within an hour a body was retrieved from the truck Oakland this afternoon, police said. The person was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as 78-year-old Manuel Stimpson of San Francisco.

Stimpson was a beloved longshoreman who had worked at the Port of Oakland for more than 50 years, according to a co-worker. The victim's name was not released.

The truck was apparently knocked into the water by some sort of  machinery and the man was underwater for more than 30 minutes before port divers could reach the vehicle and retrieve the body, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Coy Justice told Bay City News.

The truck was also recovered from the water, fire officials said.

"He's a very loved man, he's like a father to all of us," said Frank Gaskin, a business agent with International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10.   

Gaskin said work will shut down at the port until Saturday in honor of the employee and while authorities investigate the incident.

A spokesman for the port said the financial implications of the shutdown would not be extreme because the crash happened late on a Friday and Saturday is not a busy day at the port.

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