Coast Guard helps coordinate rescue for mariners in distress near Encinitas

SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard assisted in coordinating a rescue for two mariners in distress Monday morning off the coast of Encinitas, California.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector San Diego watchstanders received a Digital Selective Calling distress alert indicating a position close to Beacon’s Beach, near Encinitas, which can be activated by pressing a rescue button on many VHF radios.

Radio contact was made with the sailing vessel, Lady Max, which ran soft aground with two people aboard who had donned their life jackets.

Encinitas Lifeguards were able to arrive on scene around 4:30 a.m., and retrieve the people from their vessel.

“This was an outstanding effort by our partners, the Encinitas Lifeguards, all the way through,” said, Cmdr. Rob Potter, the chief of response and air operations at Coast Guard Sector San Diego. “The fact this radio was connected to a GPS device was the tipping point that made this rescue possible. Having proper electronic safety equipment is a two-part equation. First, it needs to be in proper working order and second it needs to be registered. Without the location or description of the distressed vessel, rescue assets would have had a difficult time responding. It is vitally important that radios and all electronic signaling devices are properly registered. It is only when the device is registered and connected to a GPS can the Coast Guard quickly determine a lot of relevant information that can significantly speed up the rescue process. Luckily, these folks had their radio connected to a GPS device and a rescue was able to materialize rather quickly before the situation could deteriorate.”

Coast Guard pollution responders also responded to the scene and determined there was no pollution.

TowBoatU.S. towed the vessel to Mission Bay in San Diego.

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