Coast Guard responds to mayday; escorts four boaters to safety

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Coast Guard escorted four boaters to safety early this morning near Horseshoe Cove after responding to a mayday call at 9:12 p.m. Sunday evening.

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed an MH-65 helicopter from Air Station San Francisco and a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Golden Gate in response to the distress call from the crew of the 42-foot boat Carina.

Carina’s four crewmembers reported multiple injuries and notified the Coast Guard of a possible electronic problem on the boat. When the crew lost communications with the Coast Guard, they activated their onboard electronic position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). This enabled the Coast Guard to immediately locate the Carina and administer assistance to the injured crew.

Shortly after the helicopter arrived, it suffered a mishap when its hoist cable snagged equipment on the rescue boat while a rescue swimmer was being lowered. Fortunately, the flight mechanic was able to cut the cable with no injuries to the swimmer who safely dove into the water.

The rescue boat plucked the swimmer from the water and followed through with the mayday response. While on the way to Horseshoe Cove, the EMT-certified swimmer helped administer first aid to the crewmembers. They all arrived at approximately 1:45 a.m. where an awaiting ambulance transported the injured crewmembers to Marin General Medical Center.

The Coast Guard recommends that all mariners undertaking an ocean voyage stock their vessel with safety gear including life jackets, survival suits, a marine VHF radio, GPS, and an emergency beacon. Also plan for changing weather and sea conditions. Though conditions may be ideal where you launch your boat, the conditions could be hazardous in another area. The National Weather Service displays marine weather forecasts regularly on its web site http://www.weather.gov/. You may also listen to broadcasts throughout the day on VHF channel WX2. The Coast Guard broadcasts weather conditions on VHF channel 22A at 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

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