Coast Guard rescues man and his dog from disabled sailboat 120 off Mexican coast

SAN DIEGO - Petty Officer 2nd Class James Johnson, a flight mechanic from Coast Guard Sector San Diego, talks to a man who was rescued with his dog from a 30-foot disabled sailboat 120 miles southwest of San Diego, March 21, 2011. Aircrews from Coast Guard Sector San Diego and Air Station Sacramento worked together to rescue the man and dog. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Henry G. Dunphy.SAN DIEGO – The Coast Guard rescued a 77-year-old man and his dog from a disabled sailboat 120 miles west of Ensenada, Mexico, Monday afternoon.

At 12:20 p.m., the Coast Guard was notified by a HAM radio operator in Stonewall, Texas, who overheard a voice mayday call from a distressed boater reporting engine troubles in high seas.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Sector San Diego and a C-130 Hercules plane from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento were launched to assist the man.

A rescue swimmer was lowered to the water to assess the situation on the vessel.

It was determined to be unsafe for the man and dog to stay aboard the vessel due to lack of propulsion, food or water, and safety equipment. They were hoisted to the helicopter and transported to San Diego.

“It was a challenging hoist situation for the entire aircrew, due to the sea state and the fact that the mast, sail and lines were moving freely in the wind,” said Lt. Tony Lumpkin, the helicopter aircraft commander during the rescue. “It feels good to be able to work together to safely execute a hoist in a dangerous situation and help save a life.”

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