Five people were rescued Friday afternoon from Tomales Bay off the Marin County coast, officials with the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Two of the survivors were in the water when they called for help from their cellphones at 1:30 p.m. and were transferred to the Coast Guard.
One of the survivors told the Coast Guard that he last saw his companion clinging to a yellow buoy.
A lifeboat and two helicopters were dispatched and the man last seen clinging to the buoy was rescued.
The man told Marin County firefighters, who were at command post at Miller Boat Launch, that four others were in the water.
The five had apparently taken two collapsible boats out on the bay and waves overwhelmed one boat, sending two men in the water.
The second boat picked up one of the men and the weight of all four overwhelmed that boat.
According to the Coast Guard, all five were wearing life jackets.
Marin County fire officials said the life jackets were bright-colored, allowing the helicopter crews to spot the victims.
Coast Guard Lt. Rachel Thomas said, "We urge all boaters to take precautions as the boating season ramps up."
She said the weather is warmer but the "water temperature can still be very dangerous."
She also cautioned boaters to go out on the water only in a vessel that can handle the conditions. The collapsible boats were too small for the conditions Friday afternoon, she said.