Coast Guard locates missing Morro Bay fishing boat

Morro Bay, Calif – This morning the Coast Guard located the missing fishing boat Wild Thing approximately 160 nautical miles west-southwest of Point Conception, Calif. with no sign of the boat’s captain, Joe Jones. A friend of Jones reported him overdue to the Coast Guard at about 5 p.m. yesterday evening.

Jones departed on his 30-foot fishing boat around 6 a.m. on Thursday, Apr. 3. He was due back to Morro Bay that day at 10 a.m.

Coast Guard rescuers began their search in the area where Jones was supposed to be fishing, about 20 nautical miles off California’s central coast. The search was suspended late last night and restarted early this morning. Coast Guard rescue helicopters from Los Angeles and San Diego, a Coast Guard C-130 airplane from Sacramento, and a rescue boat from Morro Bay are conducting the search at sea. Sea conditions on-scene are 8-10 foot seas with 25-35 mph winds.

Using information from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), the Coast Guard was able to locate the Wild Thing at 7 a.m. this morning. Commercial fishing vessels are equipped with VMS by NMFS to ensure compliance with federal fisheries laws and regulations. The system tracks commercial fishing vessels by transmitting its GPS location to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Santa Barbara based Coast Guard cutter Blackfin is currently heading to the location of the Wild Thing to recover the boat and tow it back to port.

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