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Coast Guard Assists Sailing Vessel
updated: Mar 19, 2017, 9:23 AM

U.S. Coast Guard 11th District PA Detachment LA/LB

Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class SondraKay Kneen

The Coast Guard located and assisted a sailing vessel in distress near Santa Barbara Friday.

Photo by 
Petty Officer 1st Class SondraKay Kneen

At about 12:30 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center received a call from the Fascination, a 33-foot sailing vessel reporting that their engine was disabled, the vessel had electrical issues and was unable to sail due to lack of winds. The operator of the vessel also reported that he had no GPS, but believed he was 600 feet offshore of Carpinteria with his dog aboard.

Due to dense fog, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center directed the vessel to anchor. The operator of the vessel activated his Personal Locating Beacon (PLB) when he lost communication with the Coast Guard. The activation of his PLB and improved weather conditions allowed Coast Guard rescue crews to respond safely.

A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Forward Operating Base Point Mugu located the vessel at around 8 a.m., using direction finding equipment and also from the two flares the vessel operator set off. The vessels position was passed from the MH-65 crew to a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat — Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands.

The boatcrew safely towed the vessel to Santa Barbara Harbor, with the assistance of the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol, where the operator and dog were reported to be in good condition.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters that having the proper equipment aboard your vessel is extremely important and urges ALL mariners to:

  • File a accurate and updated float plan with friends, family members and local marinas before heading out. The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, destination and expected time of return.
  • Stay Informed - The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of storms through local television, radio and Internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change.
  • Wear life jackets while on the water.
  • Always have a working marine-band radio on board.
  • Carry marine flares on board the vessel.
  • Ensure bilge pumps are operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rain.

For more information on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.



Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class SondraKay Kneen


Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 764439P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 10:07 AM

Really happy all is well.


 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 12:28 PM

Wonder why he didn't just anchor up and sail back in the morning. Conditions were calm and he was close to shore.


 COMMENT 764450P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 12:44 PM

He did all the right things here for a safe & successful return to the harbor.


 COMMENT 764454 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 12:46 PM

He did anchor up. Rather than just waiting until morning and having to pay Vessel Assist, this clueless sailor with no GPS when every smart phone has one, opted for a little drama and a free rescue from the Coast Guard.


 COMMENT 764458 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 01:52 PM

I was under the impression the CG only comes out to rescue when life and limb are at stake, not property. However I do doubt they will eat the cost of this effort.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 05:08 PM

Well, all turned out well and the gentleman, his dog and boat are safe Naturally, the critics had to jump in on the situation without knowing details. The man could have medical issues that meant he had to get to shore, who knows, there could be a variety of reasons not to stay out over night. And with dense fog, there is a possibility there wouldn't be wind tomorrow either.


 COMMENT 764481P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 06:28 PM

Flicka, the grousers are just a bunch of ninnys, so no sleepless night. :-)


 COMMENT 764518 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 08:43 AM

Happy ending. Glad we live in a place where this type of rescue is easily possible.


 CHACHA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 08:45 AM

No way, you only call the coast guard if you are in imminent danger of loss or damage to life or vessel. The only way this could have been the case is if the guy was out with no anchor, in which case, buddy, sell the boat, sailing isn't for you.

If he had an anchor he should have anchored to deal with the safety of the boat in the short term and then called a vessel assist company if he was in a hurry to get home--which he would have to pay for, rather ban using public money to bail him out.


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 09:49 AM

Well, smart to use the flares, and perhaps didn't want to sit out in the cold foggy weather with his dog all night. Years ago our family went camping in the desert and had to take our dog out of the car, because he was so cold. Probably put him in one of our sleeping bags.


 COMMENT 764540 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 10:06 AM

This event had a happy ending for him, but not for the tax payers. He was in no danger. All he needed to do was anchor for the night and wait for the wind to come up the next morning. He didn't need to be sitting out in the cold. He could have put up his anchor light and stayed inside the cabin. If he has medical issues that prevent staying all night in a sailboat, then he has no business taking this trip.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 10:31 AM

It must be wonderful to be a critic! So easy make light of other's choices. I guess only the perfect people can do this.


 COMMENT 764570 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 11:34 AM

No, people who own cars and don't expect free towing service grouse a bit when boat owners get free taxpayer-paid towing and seaside service. But it's OK, it's pretty minor in the overall scheme of things.


 COMMENT 764592P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 01:13 PM

Oh for Peet's sake! Every time there is a rescue of any kind, the same people (I just know it is) whank about it. Maybe everyone should be like them and sit at home criticizing other people online and never get out of the house and do anything.


 CHACHA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 01:40 PM

592, sorry it offends you. As someone with a lot of experience on the water, it bugs me when people use resources which are intended to be deployed in emergencies (A helicopter PLUS a response boat) because they are impatient. It's like calling 911 if you get lost. That should not be your first call.


 COMMENT 764627 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-20 03:05 PM

It was midnight, in very heavy fog, and he didn't know where he was. The article said he also had electrical issues, which might mean no light or pumps, etc., right? Isn't this an emergency, if not for him then conceivably for other boats in the area? I don't know anything about boating but it's seems to facile to say "he was in no danger" in those conditions. Anyway I doubt the Harbor Patrol would have mobilized all those resources unless they thought it was justified.


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