Coast Guard Assists Boater Without Navigation Equipment

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – The Coast Guard responded to a Mayday call from a recreational boat that was disabled and disoriented due to fog and was not equipped with proper navigational equipment, about 8 p.m. Sunday in the waters near Ventura, Calif.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach received the initial call and Sector San Diego used the newly acquired Rescue 21 system to locate an approximate position. A search area was created using the Rescue 21 radio system, approximately 18 miles north of San Nicholas Islands, Calif.

A Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles MH-65C Dolphin helicopter, a C-130 airplane from Air Station Sacramento, the Cutter Narwhal, and a Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 47-foot Motor Lifeboat were launched to search for the vessel Starfire.

Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach established communication with the Starfire and located it with the help of a Good Samaritan in the area.

The cutter Narwhal arrived on-scene and will tow the Starfire to Channel Island Harbor, Calif.

The Starfire was operating without a working compass, navigational lights, and a Global Positioning System.

Boaters are also reminded to ensure they keep all navigation and safety equipment, such as an operable GPS with them and in proper working condition. A few moments spent at the dock preparing for a possible emergency can help lessen the chance of an actual incident while on the water.

Boaters must ensure they have properly fitting Coast Guard-approved lifejackets onboard and highly recommends all boaters carry a 406 MHz Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon. EPIRBs are designed to float free of a sinking vessel, automatically transmitting a digital distress message to satellites.

For more information about the Rescue 21 system, visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/rescue21/project.asp

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