4 rescued from stalled boat near Point Reyes

August 30, 2010 1:36:34 PM PDT
The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a distress call Sunday night from a stalled boat that had several injured people aboard, officials said. Four people were rescued from the boat about 12 miles south of Point Reyes and three were transferred to a hospital.

The sailors, aged from 55 to 90 years old, were all believed to be in stable condition, Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read said. One was suffering from injuries to the hip and ankle and two had received multiple cuts when a window that was shattered aboard the boat before the rescue, Read said.

The fourth sailor appeared to be uninjured. The 90-year-old's condition is being most closely watched because of that person's age, Read said, but it is unknown whether that person was suffering from cuts or the injured hip and ankle.

The names and genders of those rescued were not available as of 4 a.m. Monday. It is believed that they were leaving San Francisco to sail to Anchorage, Alaska, and that two of them may be related, officials said.

The Mayday call from the 42-foot sports fishing vessel, the Carina, came in at about 9:12 p.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Chief Scott Brazier said. The call reported an electrical failure that had stalled the boat and an unknown injury aboard, Brazier said.

When the Coast Guard lost communication with the Carina, they dispatched a 47-foot rescue boat from Sausalito and a helicopter from the San Francisco International Airport to help the sailors, Brazier said. Everyone onboard was conscious when the rescue boat arrived, Brazier said.

The Coast Guard was able to locate the boat near Point Reyes because the people aboard the Carina had activated an electronic positioning indicating radio beacon, known as an EPIRB, Brazier said.

That distress tool emitted periodic satellite bursts that are picked up by directional equipment at Coast Guard command centers all along the coast, Brazier explained.

In fact, the initial burst bounced directly to the boat's registered homeport in Alaska before it reached Coast Guard officials on the California coast, Brazier said. It is unknown how many of the sailors are Alaska residents.

No one needed to be hoisted from the boat by the helicopter, Brazier said. The sailors and their rescuers met with Marin County Fire Department emergency medical personnel at Horseshoe Cove near Bodega Bay at about 1:45 a.m. today and were taken to a hospital, Read said.


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