Coast Guard locates missing boater off Mexican coast

SAN DIEGO -- A fisherman transits toward port aboard his 25-foot boat, which was disabled and adrift for almost a day before he was able to restart it, near the Coronado Islands, Mexico, Nov. 20, 2010. Coast Guard crews from San Diego and Sacramento searched for the man after receiving the report from his family members that he was adrift off the Mexican coast. SAN DIEGO – After almost 20 hours of searching, Coast Guard crews from San Diego and Sacramento located a fisherman who was reported to be adrift in a disabled 25-foot boat near the Coronado Islands, Mexico, Friday night.

Family members of the fisherman received text messages from him stating that his boat was disabled and notified the Coast Guard and San Diego Harbor Police at approximately 7 p.m.

The Coast Guard obtained authorization from the Mexican Navy to enter their territorial waters, and Coast Guard Cutter Sea Otter was diverted to the scene. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector San Diego also launched to search.

The Sea Otter’s crew searched throughout the night, while the helicopter crew flew three search sorties.

At sunrise, a C-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento and a helicopter crew from San Diego launched to continue searching.

At approximately 3 p.m., Saturday, the helicopter crew was able to communicate with the boater using a VHF marine radio.

The man was able to restart his engine and was headed toward Salinas Marina, near Ensenada, Mexico.

The helicopter crew escorted the boater until he was safely moored in port.

Boaters are urged to remember safety equipment when going underway, including a VHF marine radio that can be used to make distress calls in an emergency. It is also advised to file a float plan with a friend or family member shoreside, providing them with details of expected departure and return times, and the area to be transited.

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