Coast Guard, Tanker Assist Sailing Vessel Taking on Water

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard assisted with the rescue of a person onboard a 45-foot sailing vessel approximately 128 nautical miles southwest of San Francisco.

At approximately 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco received notification from the tank vessel, SR Long Beach that the Sailing Vessel Serena, en route from Honolulu to San Francisco, was taking on water. The Coast Guard immediately diverted a C-130 Hercules aircraft, from Air Station Sacramento, to the scene, and launched the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye, an 87-foot Patrol Boat, from Yerba Buena Island. The SR Long Beach, which was only 40 nautical miles from the sailing vessel’s location, diverted from its intended track to assist.

By 11:10 a.m., the C-130 arrived on scene to establish communications with the operator of the “Serena.”

By 1:55 p.m., the SR Long Beach arrived on scene and remained available in case of emergency while the person onboard the Serena pumped water off the vessel with a dewatering pump. The dewatering pump was able to keep up with the rate of flooding that occurred until the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye arrived at 3:12 p.m. Upon arrival, the crew of the Sockeye conducted a boarding of the sailing vessel, and determined that the person onboard was not injured, and that the vessel was seaworthy. The Sockeye then escorted the Serena as it transited to the San Francisco Bay.

When the S/V Serena and the CGC Sockeye arrived in the San Francisco Bay at 12:20 p.m. on Thursday, a small boat from Coast Guard Station Golden Gate assisted with escorting the vessel to the Brisbane Marina.

This incident serves as a reminder to the boating public to ensure they have all Coast Guard required and recommended safety equipment onboard their vessel, including life jackets available for every person. Boaters should also ensure that they have a working VHF-FM radio and an emergency position indicating radio beacon(EPIRB) especially when transiting offshore, regardless of the weather conditions. As the holiday weekend approaches, there may be more vessels on the water than usual. Members of the boating public are reminded to reduce risk factors by filing a float plan with a friend or family member. Doing these simple tasks could save the lives of boat operators and passengers.

Recently, the water temperature in San Francisco Bay has been approximately 63 degrees (Fahrenheit). Although the weather may be warm over the holiday weekend, exposure to water of this temperature for more than one hour may result in hypothermia, unconsciousness or possibly death.

Additional information on safe and secure boating practices can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/.

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