At approximately 4:42 p.m., Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received a report from a good Samaritan boating in San Pablo Bay, of a large debris field. The debris reported indicated that a recreational boater may be in distress and included: life jackets, throw cushions, and an ice chest filled with fresh bait and ice. Watchstanders immediately issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched a response boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Vallejo and helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco to begin a search of the area.
After sharing the initial on-scene conditions, the good Samaritan boaters began to search. Within minutes, they discovered two distressed people in the water, rescued them and vectored Coast Guard assets to their location. The survivors were transferred to Station Vallejo’s boat and brought ashore Black Point Boat Ramp in stable condition.
“The Good Samaritans were alert and proactive,” said Cmdr. Matt Thompson, Sector San Francisco search-and-rescue mission controller. “Their report to the Coast Guard was thorough and detailed. Additionally, their desire to remain on scene to assist emergency responders was instrumental as it led to the rescue of the two the survivors who are in stable condition.“
Although the survivors had life jackets with them in their vessel, they were not wearing them at the time they were discovered by the good Samaritans.
Incidents on the water can happen quickly and unexpectedly. It is important to always wear a life jacket when out on the water.