A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station San Francisco rescued two boaters and a 12-year-old from their disabled and sinking 32-foot vessel approximately two miles off Big Sur, Calif., Tuesday afternoon.
USCG Sector San Francisco command center received a distress call from the vessel's passengers stating they had become disabled and were taking on water from the 10- to 15-foot seas. The rescue aircrew was immediately deployed, but once on scene difficulties in the rescue arose due to the vessel's rigging and snag hazards.
To successfully conduct the rescue, the aircrew lowered their rescue swimmer attached to the aircraft's hoist cable and directed the survivors to enter the water one at a time. The aircrew then recovered each person into the aircraft. The survivors were brought to awaiting emergency medical technicians at Monterey Regional Airport in Monterey, Calif., where they were reported to be in stable condition.
"The captain of the vessel had the right equipment onboard and was well prepared," said Lt. Cmdr. Dave Smith, the rescue helicopter pilot. "He had a handheld radio and flares and did the right thing by calling the Coast Guard as soon as he realized he was having a problem."