Coast Guard rescues man, dog after search near Benicia, CA

A Cost Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

USCG File Photo

SAN FRANCISCO — A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a man and his dog Tuesday evening after the man’s kayak capsized near Benicia.

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received a 911 relay call around 5:44 p.m., reporting an overturned kayak near the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.

The command center issued an urgent marine information broadcast and a 29-foot Response Boat-Small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Vallejo began searching for the man after locating his kayak and finding live bait aboard.

The boat crew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco searched for nearly two hours until the crew of the tug and barge Royal Star spotted the man clinging to a piling near the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, about seven miles from his kayak.

The Station Vallejo boat crew rescued the man, who was wearing his life jacket, and his dog around 7:30 p.m., and transferred him to Benicia Fire Department EMS personnel, who treated him for symptoms of mild hypothermia.

The man reported he was in the water for three hours before he climbed onto the piling.

“This case is a great example of how vital it is for boaters to wear life jackets when underway,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Mullen, a Sector San Francisco duty watchstander. “If the man hadn’t been wearing his life jacket, the situation would have likely ended in tragedy.”

The water temperature at the time of the case was 71 degrees.

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