Coast Guard rescues 12 from bay

March 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The U.S. Coast Guard helped rescue 12 people from San Francisco Bay waters near the Oakland International Airport tonight, a Coast Guard petty officer said.

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At about 8:20 p.m., the Coast Guard was notified of two outstanding 45-foot canoes, each carrying six people, Petty Officer Jonathan Cole said.

The canoes had departed from the San Leandro marina at about 7:20 p.m. and were expected to head to the Oakland airport and back, Cole said. A friend of the canoeists at the San Leandro marina reported them overdue when they didn't return, Cole said.

The Coast Guard launched a 25-foot response boat from Station San Francisco as well as a helicopter. Additionally, two helicopters from the California Air National Guard 129th Rescue Wing were in the area and responded to the incident, Petty Officer John Eastman said. The reporting party also responded in a 17-foot boat.

Eastman said responding crews learned that one of the canoes capsized and that the other filled with water and partially sank as its occupants attempted to help those who initially fell in the water.

Crews managed to rescue the 12 people by about 9:40 p.m. One woman was taken to Oakland International Airport to be treated for hypothermia, Eastman said.

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