Coast Guard monitoring progress of sailboat off Northern California coast

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San Francisco – The Coast Guard is monitoring the progress of a sailboat that reported damaged sails, fouled screws, and a seasick crewmember approximately 142 miles west of Fort Bragg Thursday night. The operator of the 41-foot sailing vessel Falcon did not require immediate assistance, but heavy seas prevented him from untangling lines caught in the boats propellers until mid-day Friday. The boat was last reported to be making way for Bodega Bay.

Word of Falcon’s situation was first reported at approximately 11:40 p.m. Thursday when watch standers at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center received a radio call from the boat’s operator. A communications schedule was established, and the Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting other mariners in the area to assist if possible.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye was initially assigned to sail from San Francisco Friday to assist the Falcon. Upon leaving, the situation aboard the sailboat was improved. The plan now calls for the cutter to depart from Bodega Bay early Saturday morning, rendezvous with the Falcon, provide any assistance required, and escort them into port.

“The Falcon’s operator made the right decision to contact the Coast Guard at the first sign of trouble,” said Capt. Greg Stump, the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco commander. “This allowed the Coast Guard to monitor, coordinate, and assist. The sea is a very unforgiving environment, and we often see tragedies that begin with one or two small problems that quickly escalate to dangerous and deadly situations,” he said.

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