MONTEREY (KRON) — A sailor is getting medical treatment in Monterey after the Coast Guard and several commercial vessels worked together to find his distressed sailboat and get help.
The master of the 31-foot sailing vessel Apster sent out a distress call at about 6:30 a.m. Christmas Day. The Coast Guard says it lost communication with the sailboat but immediately launched a cutter and a helicopter to search for the boat.
The Coast Guard also issued an “Urgent Marine Information Broadcast” asking other vessels in the area to keep an eye out for the troubled boat. The Medi Venezia says it was able to establish communications with Apster and told the Coast Guard the boat was taking on water. The tugboat “Vision” then left the ship it was pushing and went to the area.
“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.”
Eventually a Coast Guard helicopter made it to the scene. The master of Apster was able to slow the flooding and stabilize the vehicle before crews lifted him to the helicopter.
“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.”
The master of Apster was taken to Monterey where an ambulance took him to the hospital.