Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach received notification of a 42-foot sailing vessel on fire and a sighting of two red flares at approximately 7 p.m., from the tugboat El Lobo Grande, transiting between Catalina Island and the Port of Los Angeles.
A Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach was immediately launched and coordinated with assisting vessels from Los Angeles City Fire and Baywatch Cabrillo.
A Good Samaritan vessel in the area heard the Coast Guard’s initial broadcast of a vessel in distress and headed toward the location of the fire. Once arriving on-scene, the Good Samaritan could see a small watercraft with two individuals aboard. The individuals were able to use the watercraft to get safely off the engulfed vessel.
Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach crews arrived on-scene and reported no injuries.
Both individuals stated they were able to safely transit the small watercraft and Coast Guard crews initiated a slow-speed safety escort into Cabrillo Marina.
Los Angeles City Fire crews were able to extinguish the vessel fire. While towing the vessel into the marina the sailing vessel sank approximately 6 miles south of the Port of Los Angeles in 290’ of water.
The Coast Guard urges mariners to always:
- Stay Informed – The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change.
- Wear life jackets while on the water.
- File a float plan with friends, family members and local marinas before heading out. The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, destination and expected time of return.
- Always have a working marine-band radio on board.
- Carry marine flares on board the vessel.
- Ensure bilge pumps are operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rain.
For more information on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.