The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported that a multiagency response lead to the rescue of two men after their boat capsized outside Marina Del Rey Harbor, Feb. 17, 2014.
Search and rescue watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach received two reports of red distress flares near Marina Del Rey Harbor from a Good Samaritan and a sailing vessel returning to Marina Del Rey from Catalina Island at approximately 6 p.m.
Using the information provided by the good Samaritans, such as elevation of the flare and angle of observation, watchstanders determined a likely location of origin and then issued an urgent marine information broadcast to which Marina Del Rey Harbor Patrol and Bay Watch responded.
Within 20 minutes rescuers were on scene and found two men clinging to a swamped 12-foot boat. Both men were recovered with no injuries. They confirmed that they had fired the distress flares after they both stood on one side of the boat at the same time while setting lobster traps, causing the boat to capsize. Even though they were able to right the boat, there was too much water inside and with darkness becoming a factor, they decided to shoot the flares.
“Having the right safety equipment aboard your boat will drastically decrease the time it takes to get help to you and also increase your chances of survival,” said Lt. Michael Turanitza. “These boaters did the right thing without a doubt. If they hadn’t been prepared, it’s very safe to say that they could have been clinging to that swamped boat for many hours before anyone realized they were missing. Not all lives are lost hundreds of miles offshore – sometimes it can happen right outside the harbor.”