The U.S Coast Guard rescued a person aboard a sailing vessel taking on water approximately 75 miles southwest off Monterey, Thursday morning.
At 6:26 a.m., Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center watchstanders received a distress call from the master of the 31-foot sailing vessel Apster. Due to an inaudible radio transmission, communications was lost.
Watchstanders were able to determine the general direction from shore the vessel master had called and launched rescue crews from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco and the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye.
The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast for all vessels in the vicinity to be on the lookout for Apster. The commercial ship Medi Venezia established communications with Apster and reported there was a person aboard a distressed vessel taking on water. Shortly thereafter, the towing vessel Vision diverted from towing a barge around 20 nautical miles away to assist.
The master of Apster was able to slow the flooding and stabilize the vessel.
Once a Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived on scene and quickly assessed the situation, the crew determined to hoist the master aboard the helicopter. He was transported to Monterey Municipal Airport where emergency medical services were waiting to take him to County Hospital of Monterey Peninsula for further medical evaluation.
“The mariner’s actions had the biggest impact on the success of the case,” said Lt. William Burtt, Air Station San Francisco aircraft commander. “He went out to sea properly equipped with survival and communication equipment. He recognized the severity of his situation and called the Coast Guard early enough to allow our crew to hoist him before conditions deteriorated. The crew and mariners all worked well as a team in the challenging weather conditions.”
“I want to thank the vessels Vision and Medi Venezia for their assistance this morning,” said Capt. Greg Stump, commander, Sector San Francisco. “Their willingness to help epitomizes the professionalism of our commercial maritime community and assisted in giving a gift no greater than a life saved.”