Coast Guard, San Francisco Police Dept. save 2, tow flooding vessel to safety

cg-D11SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard, San Francisco Police Marine Unit and Vessel Assist San Francisco saved two people aboard a pleasure craft after their vessel began sinking near the Oakland Estuary in the San Francisco Bay Tuesday morning.

At 10:28 a.m. Tuesday,the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center received a VHF-FM radio transmission on channel 16 from a person aboard a 29-foot pleasure craft reporting the boat was taking on water at a rapid rate. When the distress call was made, the pleasure craft was at the mouth of the Oakland Estuary in the San Francisco Bay.

The Coast Guard launched a 45-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station San Francisco and issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast alerting mariners in the area of the pleasure craft’s emergency situation. The San Francisco Police Department also joined the response, dispatching a marine unit to the scene. In addition, Vessel Assist San Francisco, a 24-hour towing and salvage company, heard the broadcast and provided assistance.

Boatcrew members from Coast Guard Station San Francisco, San Francisco Police Marine Unit and Vessel Assist San Francisco were on scene within minutes and utilized multiple dewatering pumps to remove the water overboard. Once the flooding was under control and the vessel stabilized, it was safely towed to John Beary Yacht Club in Alameda. The two operators of the vessel were not injured, and no violations were found after an administrative examination of the vessel.

“The rapid response and teamwork of the Coast Guard, San Francisco Marine Unit and Vessel Assist was pivotal to keeping the vessel afloat,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Carolanne Thomas, coxswain of the Coast Guard Response Boat. “I think it’s important to stress how important safe boating practices are to saving lives and property. The operator having a radio on board tuned to, and monitoring VHF Channel 16, allowed them to quickly notify us of their emergency as well as exact location.”

The Coast Guard reminds mariners to be prepared for emergencies while on the water. Ensure that communications and life-saving equipment are operable and that operators and passengers are able to respond appropriately. For more information on safe boating practices and complimentary vessel safety checks through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, visit the Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center at www.uscgboating.org.

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