Coast Guard Rescues Two From Remote Island After They Run Aground

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, Calif.- A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and crew safely rescued two sailors early this morning after their Sailing Vessel STORM CHASER ran aground on the south side of Santa Cruz Island.

At approximately 3am this morning, STORM CHASER notified the U.S. Coast Guard that their 36’vessel was aground on a sandy shoreline roughly 10-15 feet from shore with a line fouling their ship’s screw. An HH-65C “Dolphin” Helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles was first to arrive on scene followed shortly after by a 41′ Utility Boat from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands. After an on site evaluation, the Coast Guard boat crew determined the conditions to be unsafe to float the vessel and reach the sailors from the isolated beach.

The HH-65C, after refueling at Santa Barbara Airport, returned to Santa Cruz Island and made a successful landing on the bluffs above the beach adjacent to the STORM CHASER. A Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer hiked down to the beach to meet the stranded sailors, who had safely made it to shore, and escorted them back to the helicopter. The aircrew safely transported the two sailors to Oxnard Airport where they were met by Coast Guard members from Station Channel Islands.

Santa Cruz Island is located about 22 miles off the coast of California and is part of the northern group of the Channel Islands. Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the eight Channel Islands and a popular destination for pleasure boaters and mariners due to coastlines of steep cliffs, sea caves, and sandy beaches. Mariners are reminded to plan their trips accordingly when visiting the Channel Islands due to the continuous state of change in weather and their remote locations.

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