Sailboat Breaks Up and Washes Ashore North of Morro Rock

MORRO BAY, Calif – The U.S. Coast Guard and the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response responded to the sailing vessel INGOMAR north of Morro Rock. Despite efforts to anchor the vessel Monday night, the vessel broke apart and the hull washed ashore one mile north of Morro Rock.

Debris from the vessel, including the vessel’s fuel tank, was spread over an area of the beach about a half mile long. Patriot Environmental Services continues to collect and clear the debris from the beach. The California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the Coast Guard continues to monitor for any impacted wildlife.

No fuel was found in the vessel’s fuel tank or on the beach. The Unified Command estimates any fuel that had been in the tank entered the water after the vessel was disabled approximately 12 miles offshore from Estero Bay. The chemical characteristics of diesel fuel, which is a light to moderate oil, results in a high rate of evaporation. These characteristics, combined with the high sea state, most likely resulted in the natural dissipation of the fuel.

No reports of a sheen or odor of fuel in the area have been received.

The Coast Guard received the initial report of the distress shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday and immediately sent two 47-foot motor life boats from Station Morro Bay and an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles. The crew of the rescue boats used dewatering pumps in an attempt to remove the water from the vessel and received an additional pump from the helicopter. When the pumps failed, the Coast Guard rescued all six people who were on board.

The Unified Command appreciates the assistance from the City of Morro Bay, the Morro Bay Police Department and California State Parks for their assistance in managing crowds thereby enabling the swift removal of debris.

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