Ocean Institute Mourns The Loss Of Captain Arturo Zamarripa

Press Release

DANA POINT, CA –­ It is with great sadness that the Ocean Institute announces the death of Arturo Zamarripa, 33, captain of the Institute’s tall ship Spirit of Dana Point and its Maritime Education Coordinator.  He was killed in a traffic accident while riding his motorcycle in Long Beach the evening of June 20.

“Art was the kind of person who inspired others to be the best versions of themselves,” said Dori Moorehead, President and CEO.  “He opened minds, touched hearts and encouraged every student, in our ‘Before the Mast’ program, to reach their true potential.”

Zamarripa first came to the Ocean Institute more than a decade ago while working as a counselor for the Braille Institute.  After taking children in his care onboard the Spirit of Dana Point, he was so impressed with the ship and its crew that he volunteered to be a crewman.  He eventually joined the Ocean Institute staff as a maritime instructor, and then became a captain after earning his 100 Ton License in 2013. 

Moorehead continued, “Art was a passionate person.  He loved: motorcycles, being at sea as the captain or crew member on a tall ship, teaching kids, reading a good book, learning something new, and especially telling a great story.   Art’s career and passion came together at Ocean Institute, he always wore a huge smile and had a true gift of igniting the imagination of kids and adults and he instilled an excitement about learning in us all.”

Zamarripa was a resident of Orange.  He is survived by his parents, three brothers and a sister.


The Ocean Institute is an ocean education center that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. The facility includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tallships, and an oceanographic research vessel. Immersion-based field trips range from one-hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea. All programs are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning. Ocean-based exhibits are open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can explore the underwater world while participating in fun activities designed to indulge ocean curiosity. Throughout the year, the Ocean Institute also offers organized family programs, summer camps, cruises, tallship sails, and other unique events including our annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival and the Festival of Whales.

Address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629
Website: www.ocean-institute.org
Phone: (949) 496-2274

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