Coast Guard rescuers stay busy overnight

LOS ANGELES – Shortly after midnight this morning the Coast Guard Command Center in San Pedro, Calif. received a request from the Los Angeles County Fire Department to conduct a non-maritime medical evacuation of a 61-year old man reported to be suffering from chest and shoulder pains on his left side and a severe headache.

A Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles was already in the air responding to an earlier call into the Command Center from a disoriented vessel. The rescue helicopter was able to locate the disoriented vessel off of Point Mugu, Calif. and provide directions to a Coast Guard rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands.

After refueling and picking up a waiting Los Angeles County Fire Department Paramedic from LAX, the helicopter crew proceeded to Catalina Island and conducted the medical evacuation of the man and his wife. The man was transported to Torrance Memorial Hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.

Meanwhile the Coast Guard rescue boat from Station Channel Island escorted the disoriented vessel back to Channel Islands Harbor. During the transit into Channel islands Harbor the boat operator required the assistance of the Coast Guard crew to safely navigate the boat.

A post search and rescue boarding was conducted by the Coast Guard crew members. Field sobriety and breathalyzer tests were administered after which the Coast Guard crew members determined that the man was boating under the influence. The man was cited and turned over to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

Boaters are reminded of the dangers of drinking and boating. Along with decreasing the operator’s ability to make good judgments, the consumption of alcohol also negatively affects the ability of the passengers to respond in the case of an emergency on the water. The effects of sun, wind, waves and a boat’s motion in the water add to an operator’s impairment. Intoxicated boaters can face both federal and state charges with penalties of up to one year in prison and $100,000 in fines.

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