Coast Guard and partner agencies rescue teenage sailors in Tomales Bay

Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay 47-foot Motor Lifeboat file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert.

Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay 47-foot Motor Lifeboat file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert.

BODEGA BAY, Calif. — The Coast Guard and partner agencies rescued two teenage sailors whose boat was taking on water in Tomales Bay, Tuesday evening.

Members of a local yacht club contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco around 6 p.m. reporting seven of their sailboats, with two people aboard each boat, were in distress.

The members reported three sailboats were capsized and the rest were inundated by the weather.

Sector San Francisco launched two 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews from Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay and requested assistance from the Marin County Fire Department. An Inverness Fire Department small boat crew and the Henry 1 of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

The Coast Guard boatcrew arrived on scene and found one sailboat taking on water. Due to the strong winds creating unstable conditions for the sailboat, the rescue crew deployed a surface swimmer, who brought the two teenage sailors from the sailboat aboard the 47-foot MLB. The boatcrew dewatered the sailboat and transferred the teens and sailboat to the Inverness Fire Department small boat, which brought them and the sailboat ashore.

The other 12 sailors and their sailboats were reportedly brought to shore by the yacht club’s safety vessel. All of the sailors were wearing wetsuits, life jackets, and helmets. There were no reports of medical concerns.

“The key factor in this rescue was that the sailors were equipped with the proper rescue equipment and gear,” said Petty Office 2nd Class Bryan Thurman, a boatswains mate at Station Bodega Bay and crewmember aboard the 47-foot MLB. “The water temperatures were in the low 50’s and having wetsuits prevented hypothermia. While the crewmembers at Station Bodega Bay train constantly for heavy weather rescues, the weather in Tomales Bay can turn quickly and wearing the right equipment can drastically help a persons chances of survival.”

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