SAN DIEGO — A good Samaritan rescued 21 passengers and five crewmembers from a U.S.-flagged sportfishing vessel that began taking on water near the Coronado Islands, Saturday.
At approximately 5 a.m. Saturday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center were notified by the 63-foot sportfishing vessel Invicta reporting that the vessel had impacted rocks near the Coronado Islands, in Mexico, and needed assistance. The Invicta was reported to be taking on water, the vessel was at anchor and they were deploying their life rafts.
The JHOC immediately began transmitting an urgent marine information broadcast and obtained permission from the Mexican government to enter Mexico’s airspace and territorial waters. A Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was immediately launched and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Otter was diverted to assist the passengers and crew.
The crew of the 35-foot commercial fishing vessel Sweet Marie overheard the UMIB and diverted to assist.
Sweet Marie’s crew arrived on scene and safely transported all 26 passengers and crewmembers aboard their vessel and began to make way toward San Diego. The Sea Otter crew arrived and transferred them aboard the cutter, then safely transported them to the San Diego Harbor Police dock, on Shelter Island. All passengers and crewmembers were wearing lifejackets.
There was one reported back injury, and the passenger declined treatment.
Sweet Marie’s crew collected all the Invicta’s life rafts.
The Invicta was reported to have broken apart. The Coast Guard is in contact with Mexico’s Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) regarding any environmental impacts.
The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.