U.S. Coast Guard to the Rescue

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    NEWSLETTERS

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     The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a distress call Sunday night from a boat that had several injured people aboard, officials said.

     Four people were rescued from the boat about 12 miles south of Point Reyes  and three were transferred to a hospital.

    The boat was able to make it to shore on its own power.  The Coast Guard was there as an escort and just in case the injured needed immediate air evacuation.

    It was immediately clear how the people were hurt.  They may have been hit by a wave that caused a window in the boat to break, but that could not be confirmed by the Coast Guard.
         
    The sailors, aged from 55 to 90 years old, were all believed to be  in stable condition, Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read said. One was  suffering from injuries to the hip and ankle and two had received multiple  cuts when a window that was shattered aboard the boat before the rescue, Read  said.

     It is believed the group was leaving San Francisco to sail to  Anchorage, Alaska.

    The Mayday call from the 42-foot sports fishing vessel, the  Carina, came in at about 9:12 p.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Chief Scott Brazier  said. The call reported an electrical failure that had stalled the boat and  an unknown injury aboard, Brazier said.

    When the Coast Guard lost communication with the Carina, they  dispatched a 47-foot rescue boat from Sausalito and a helicopter from the San  Francisco International Airport to help the sailors, Brazier said. Everyone  onboard was conscious when the rescue boat arrived, Brazier said.

    The Coast Guard was able to locate the boat near Point Reyes  because the people aboard the Carina had activated an electronic positioning  indicating radio beacon, known as an EPIRB, Brazier said.

    That distress tool emitted periodic satellite bursts that are  picked up by directional equipment at Coast Guard command centers all along  the coast, Brazier explained.

    In fact, the initial burst bounced directly to the boat's  registered homeport in Alaska before it reached Coast Guard officials on the  California coast, Brazier said. It is unknown how many of the sailors are  Alaska residents.

    No one needed to be hoisted from the boat by the helicopter,  Brazier said. The sailors and their rescuers met with Marin County Fire  Department emergency medical personnel at Horseshoe Cove near Bodega Bay at  about 1:45 a.m. today and were taken to a hospital, Read said.
     

    Bay City News