7 boaters rescued in shallow waters in Suisun Bay

September 3, 2010 12:13:59 PM PDT
Seven boaters who were stranded overnight after their vessel became grounded in Suisun Bay were rescued this morning, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said.

Lt. j.g. Jeremy Pichette said no one on the boat was injured in the ordeal. He said the group included four children, ages 3, 4, 11, and 14.

Coast Guard officials had been working since 1 a.m. to rescue the group from the 17-foot pleasure craft, Pichette said. Initial rescue attempts were thwarted by the shallowness of the water where boat was stranded.

Coast Guard officials said the boat departed into Suisun Bay shortly after sunset Thursday and ran out of gas at about 10:30 p.m., Pichette said. It then drifted until it ran aground near Ryer Island, just north of Concord, he said.

One person aboard the boat was in contact with the Coast Guard by cell phone during part of the night, but communication ended at 4 a.m., likely due to a dead battery, Pichette said.

A rescue vessel was launched around 1 a.m., but the boat was stranded on a shoal, and rescuers couldn't get closer than 200 yards.

At about 8:30 a.m., a shallow-hull vessel that was dispatched from Novato arrived at the scene and was able to pull up alongside the boat, Pichette said.

The shallow-hull boat was operated by members of the Coast Guard's Pacific Strike team, a pollution response team that was pulled off of its usual duties to help, Pichette said.

"This is an example of the Coast Guard pulling another tool out of the tool box to assist this vessel," Pichette said.

Within an hour, all seven boaters had been transferred from the stranded boat to the rescue vessel, and then to a small Coast Guard boat that was waiting nearby. They were then taken to the Coast Guard station in Vallejo.

"We can only imagine what their night was like," Pichette said.


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