Coast Guard Air Crew Performs Difficult Nightime Rescue

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Early this morning a Coast Guard Search and Rescue helicopter hoisted a fisherman to safety after his fishing vessel ran aground near Santa Rosa Island.

The Coast Guard first received a report of the stranded mariner shortly after 2 a.m. when he called into the Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach Command Center on his personal cell phone. At the time, his 37 foot commercial fishing vessel, Katie Rae, was aground in Becher’s Bay at Santa Rosa Island, but it was not taking on water.

The Coast Guard launched an HH-65 helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles, located at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and a 47 foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast advising of the search and rescue efforts was initiated as well.

While on scene the Air Station crew was able to hoist the stranded fishermen despite the strong winds they encountered. “Nighttime hoisting in close proximity to cliffs with strong gusting winds requires good team coordination by everyone in the crew to clear us in all directions so we could affect a safe hoist of the survivor and our Rescue Swimmer.” Said Lieutenant Marc LaNore, the Pilot of the mission. “We had to hover over a very small beach and our tail and left side were less than 20 yards from the 50 foot tall cliffs, our crew did a great job”

The fisherman sustained no injuries and was transferred to Oxnard Airport. The vessel is still aground at Becher’s Bay and salvage efforts have been arranged to commence this morning.

There have been no reports of pollution as of this morning, however the Coast Guard is working with the National Parks Service as well as the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to monitor any potential pollution from the aground vessel.

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