Coast Guard aids 4 on disabled boat

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – The Coast Guard aided four stranded people, including a 16 year-old boy, from a disabled 19-foot boat about 700 yards off Port Hueneme, Calif., Saturday night.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach Command Center personnel directed the master of the vessel to drop his anchor to avoid moving closer to shore, however, the operator no longer had an anchor after cutting it loose earlier in the day.

The boat also did not possess a marine-band radio and were only able to communicate with Command Center personnel by cell phone.

Due to the limited communications and the boaters not sure of their location with nightfall fast approaching, a small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor was launched to tow the boat to Channel Islands Harbor.

This case underscores the need for all boaters to have working safety equipment onboard at all times; such as lifejackets, flares, anchors, functioning marine radio, navigation lights, and emergency radio beacons. For novice boaters or those operating in unfamiliar areas, a GPS system can also be a vital safety tool. The biggest advantage to having a marine-band radio onboard is that other boaters in the area can hear your transmissions, the Coast Guard can better triangulate your position, and cell phone batteries lose power extremely quickly out on the water.

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