Retired Calif. fire chief's body found

Mike Haberski, 59, was alone in his 25-foot sailboat Tuesday evening when he was believed to have fallen in the water


By Paul Payne
The Press Democrat

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Searchers have recovered the body of a retired Petaluma firefighter who went missing last week while sailing at Clear Lake.

Mike Haberski, 59, was alone in his 25-foot sailboat Tuesday evening in Konocti Bay when he was believed to have fallen in the water, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

Witnesses reported hearing someone yelling for help about 300 yards off shore but could not locate Haberski. He was presumed to have drowned.

A search for his body was continuing Saturday morning when a Clear Lake resident reported seeing a body floating in lilies about 20 feet from the water's edge, said Mike Elson, acting battalion chief for Central Fire District in Windsor.

A Windsor firefighter swam out to retrieve Haberski's body and helped lift it onto a Sheriff's Office boat, Elson said. It was brought ashore in a procession including several Petaluma firefighters who arrived to assist in the search, Elson said.

The official cause of death was not immediately known.

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(c)2016 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)

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