Coast Guard responds to vessel taking on water near Catalina Island

CATALINA ISLAND, Calif – The Coast Guard responded to a sail boat with 3 people aboard taking on water near Catalina Island late Saturday afternoon.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach received a “mayday” call from the 36-foot sailing vessel Dancing Dolphin “that it was taking on water about 3 miles north of Catalina Island.”

A MH-65 rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles was dispatched to the scene. A lifeguard boat from Los Angeles County Fire Department Baywatch Isthmus, the Catalina Ferry and Vessel Assist also responded to the scene. After securing the leak Vessel Assist towed the vessel to Avalon Harbor.

Utilizing the Rescue 21 system that was just implemented at Coast Guard Sector San Diego on April 28, search and rescue controllers in the command center at Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach were able to locate the vessel and direct responders to the vessels exact location. The vessel did not have GPS on board.

Rescue 21 is an advanced command, control and communications system that was created to better locate mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea and on navigable rivers. As the marine version of 9-1-1, it facilitates better communication and interoperability in emergency situations. With its advanced direction finding capabilities and increased range, Rescue 21 helps the Coast Guard better “hear the call” and quickly respond to boaters in distress, as well as to identify hoax distress calls made from land that can unnecessarily divert Coast Guard assets and manpower.

“This system has already proven it’s capability at other Coast Guard Sectors across the country saving lives, catching hoax callers, and improving communications with mariners. We look forward to having this technology here in Southern California,” said LT.j.g. Aaron Dwoskin, a Command Duty Officer at Sector Los Angeles.

Rescue 21 is scheduled to be implemented at Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach in December 2010.

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