Good Samaritans rescue 4 from fishing boat fire off Pillar Point Harbor

The Coast Guard Cutter Tern

Coast Guard Cutter Tern file photo

SAN FRANCISCO — Four crewmembers from the commercial fishing vessel Ocean Gale were rescued by the crew of the commercial fishing vessel Smith Brothers #2, after a boat fire 13 miles southwest of Pillar Point Harbor.

Fishermen aboard the Ocean Gale, a 37-foot vessel, contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at approximately 5 p.m., Monday, reporting a fire aboard their boat.

The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Golden Gate and the Coast Guard Cutter Tern, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in San Francisco.

Crews aboard four commercial fishing vessels, Alma, Mr. Morgan, Alicia Dawn and Smith Brothers #2, responded to the UMIB and diverted to the scene.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived on scene and discovered the Ocean Gale engulfed in flames. The four crewmembers abandoned ship in a life raft and were retrieved by the crew of Smith Brothers #2. The four rescued people were taken to Half Moon Bay.

“This successful rescue underscores the tradition of mariners looking out for each other and the importance of complying with Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Act requirements,” said Eustacio Ramirez, a Sector San Francisco Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety examiner. “Having a life raft aboard allowed the crew members to escape from the burning vessel and kept them safe until help arrived.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation and there were no reports of injuries.

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