Coast Guard assists sick sailor on disabled sailboat

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Coast Guard Station Morro Bay provided medical assistance last night to the passenger on a 27-foot sailing vessel after the crew reported that its engine was disabled and the passenger was sick.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles received the call around 7:30 p.m. from the sailing vessel Chrysanthemum requesting a medical evacuation of one the two passengers.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station San Francisco was launched and, due to the location of the boat, about 35 miles north of Morro Bay, Calif., a 47-foot Motor Life Boat was sent from the Coast Guard station there. The Dolphin arrived on scene first, at about 9: 30 p.m. A rescue swimmer was deployed from the helicopter to the water and climbed aboard the vessel to assess the situation. The helicopter then flew to St. Louis Obispo to refuel, while the MLB crew arrived on scene.

At that point the patient declined to be medevaced by the helicopter. The rescue swimmer agreed with the patient and transferred him to the MLB's crew for care. The crew from the MLB put the sail boat in tow, and is currently transiting back to Morro Bay. The MLB is expected to return to home port at around 9 a.m.

All boaters should also ensure that they have a working marine VHF radio on board to contact the Coast Guard on channel 16 should an emergency arise.

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