Coast Guard Responds to Disabled Sailing Vessel

MONTERREY, Calif. – The Coast Guard responded to a distress call made by the 41-foot sailing vessel “Carmelita” after it received a report that the vessel lost both power and steering 15 miles south of Pt. Sur, Calif., very early on Friday morning.Upon receiving the call at 12:45 a.m., a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Monterey was launched immediately to assist the troubled vessel. When the Coast Guard lost communications with the “Carmelita” at 2:12 a.m., an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station San Francisco was launched immediately. The 47-foot Motor Life Boat arrived on scene at 4:22 a.m. and made arrangements to tow the Carmelita to a safe haven. The “Carmelita” was towed to the Monterey Harbor, and arrived safely at 11 a.m.

With the busy summer boating season just around the corner in Northern California, the Coast Guard continues to stress the importance of boating safety while enjoying time spent on the water. “I hope our Bay Area sailors take the time to fully prepare their boats and safety equipment, and also prepare sail plans before setting out on a trip” said Captain Paul Gugg, Commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. “Minutes invested in preparation can save hours of time adrift, in possibly dangerous conditions and in need of rescue.”

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to have the required safety equipment, and to exercise good judgment while on the water. By ensuring all lifesaving equipment is in working order and filing a float plan with friends or relatives, boaters can increase the effectiveness of Coast Guard response in the event of an emergency.

Boaters are encouraged to ensure they have properly fitting, Coast Guard approved lifejackets onboard in accordance with Coast Guard regulations. The Coast Guard also highly recommends all boaters carry an 406 MHz Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) with them. EPIRBs are designed to float free of a sinking vessel, and automatically transmit a digital distress message to satellites. They can be manually activated as well.

Additionally, all boaters are encouraged to get a Vessel Safety Check, provided free of charge by Coast Guard Auxiliary members. More information on Vessel Safety Checks and required safety equipment can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/ and http://www.vesselsafetycheck.org/.

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