Coast Guard continues salvage operations for aground boat

Photo courtesy of California Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

Photo courtesy of California Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard and partner agencies continued salvage operations Tuesday that began Saturday for the grounded 42-foot commercial fishing boat Seastar on Kehoe Beach.

Contractors removed all fuel and hazardous materials from the Seastar Saturday afternoon before commencing salvage operations.

Salvage operations are being conducted by Parker Dive personnel.

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received reports of the unmanned boat Seastar adrift just North of Point Reyes around 9:20 a.m. Friday.

Sector San Francisco watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, a Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27 Spartan aircraft.

The boat crew arrived on scene around 10:15 a.m., boarded the Seastar, which was on the rocks, and did not attempt to tow the boat due to pollution and boat damage concerns. The boat crew confirmed the Seastar was unmanned, reported the captain missing and immediately began searching in concert with the Dolphin aircrew, the Spartan aircrew, Sonoma County Sheriff helicopter and personal watercraft crews and National Parks Service personnel.

The Dolphin crew located an unresponsive person in the water at approximately 1:35 p.m. and directed the boat crew to the location. The boat crew recovered the body and transported him to Station Bodega Bay where he was transferred to the Sonoma County Coroner.

“While Coast Guard crews recovered and transported the person found in the water, the Seastar drifted off Elephant Rock and ran ashore on Kehoe Beach,” said Capt. Taylor Lam, the Sector San Francisco commander. “The Coast Guard crews and partner agencies are working to remove the boat and ensure the area is safe for the local community.”

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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