Coast Guard rescues three; monitoring vessel adrift

Coast Guard District 11 NewsSAN PEDRO, Calif. – The Coast Guard rescued three commercial fishermen after their 33-foot vessel became disabled and began drifting dangerously close to the rocks off of the westernmost point of San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands chain, at about 4 p.m. Sunday.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles hoisted the trio and flew them back to Santa Barbara, Calif., with no injuries.

The drama began when the commercial fishing boat, based out of Santa Barbara, became disabled about 100 yards from the rocks. The men dropped an anchor but it quickly broke free and the second anchor started to drag in the direction of the shoreline. The master radioed the Coast Guard for help at about 2:30 p.m.

Before hoisting the men, the Coast Guard directed them to set off their Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon so Command Center and environmental response personnel could keep tabs of the vessel. The last position of the boat was roughly 35 yards from the rocks.

Coast Guard environmental response personnel are monitoring the vessel because it is reported to have about 40 gallons of fuel onboard and may come aground in an environmentally sensitive area.

A Coast Guard helicopter is scheduled to conduct an early morning flight to further inspect the vessel’s position at that time.

The weather at the time of the rescue were sea swells ranging from eight to ten feet, with 20 knot winds. Those conditions are expected to worsen over night.

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