LOS ANGELES — The Coast Guard located and assisted a sailing vessel in distress near Santa Barbara Friday.
At about 12:30 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center received a call from the 33-foot sailing vessel Fascination reporting that their engine was disabled, the vessel had electrical issues and was unable to sail due to lack of winds. The operator of the vessel also reported that he had no GPS, but believed he was 600 feet offshore of Carpinteria with his dog aboard.
Due to dense fog, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center directed the vessel to anchor. The operator of the vessel activated his Personal Locating Beacon (PLB) when he lost communication with the Coast Guard. The activation of his PLB and improved weather conditions allowed Coast Guard rescue crews to respond safely.
A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Forward Operating Base Point Mugu located the vessel at around 8 a.m., using direction finding equipment and also from the two flares the vessel operator set off. The vessels position was passed from the MH-65 crew to a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat — Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands.
The boatcrew safely towed the vessel to Santa Barbara Harbor, with the assistance of the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol, where the operator and dog were reported to be in good condition.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters that having the proper equipment aboard your vessel is extremely important and urges ALL mariners to:
- File a accurate and updated 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.
- Stay Informed – The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of storms 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.
- 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.