Sailor safe after vessel grounding north of Crescent City

Coast Guard District 11 NewsCRESCENT CITY, Calif. – The owner and operator of a 45-foot sailing vessel, the QE II, is safe after it became grounded on a beach six miles north of Crescent City Friday.

The sailor reported that he departed from Hawaii three weeks ago and was on his way to Crescent City, CA, when his boat became grounded in 14-foot breaking surf.

His marine radio was not working properly, but he was able to contact his wife on his cell phone. Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay received the report from his wife at approximate 4 a.m. and immediately launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Humboldt Bay and 47-foot Motor Lifeboat, from Station Humboldt Bay.

Due to unsafe hoisting conditions caused by the QE II being tossed violently, the aircrew lowered a rescue swimmer to the nearby beach before departing to refuel. Before the helicopter returned to scene the man had made it safely to shore where the rescue swimmer conducted a health assessment on the sailor, and the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department sent an all terrain vehicle to bring them both off the beach.

The sailor stated that there is no fuel on board and he was making plans to salvage the boat from the beach.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters of the importance of having a properly working marine VHF radio, and boaters in distress can contact the Coast Guard on channel 16. Cell phones have been proven as an unreliable form of communication during search and rescue cases.

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