Paddler who died near Berkeley marina has been ID’d as Walnut Creek man

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter at the Berkeley marina (file photo) Photo: Stephen Van Den Eeden

A man’s body was recovered in the San Francisco Bay near Berkeley on Saturday, and the wreckage of an outrigger canoe also was found, authorities and community members report.

The U.S. Coast Guard received the first call Saturday, at 7:15 p.m., about a body in the water near the Berkeley marina, said Lt. Dave Lindenau of the Berkeley Police Department.

The Coast Guard located the body and called BPD, Lindenau said.

The coroner’s office responded to the scene to take custody of the body. He was identified Sunday as 38-year-old Christopher Cheung of Walnut Creek.


A Berkeleyside reader reported seeing a “rescue helicopter and launch in the water” Saturday around 7:15 p.m.

Denise Allen wrote on the Berkeleyside Facebook page that she had seen the man set out, and been worried due to the weather conditions.

“The wind was fierce, the waves were many feet high, it was chilly. While walking along Cesar Chavez shore, I saw the victim and his white kayak heading towards the Berkeley marina and felt very concerned about his safety. I kept stopping to see if he was making progress,” she wrote Sunday morning. “He was just about to clear the cement breakers and I thought he was going to be fine so I continued on with my walk. Apparently he didn’t make it.… This is so tragic.”

Another reader told Berkeleyside on Sunday that the boat that was recovered was an outrigger canoe, not a kayak, as authorities initially reported.

The Coast Guard had not responded, as of Sunday, to an inquiry for information.

Berkeleyside updated this story Sunday with the man’s name and several other details, as noted above.