Charter boat sinks off California; all aboard rescued

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(SAN PEDRO, Calif.) – At 2:33 a.m. Thursday, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach Command Center watch standers received a mayday call from the captain of the charter passenger vessel Sea Jay reporting they had struck a rock and were taking on water with 10 passengers and four crewmembers on board.

The captain told the passengers and crew to abandon the ship while he anchored the vessel and released the life raft before boarding the raft as well.

Command Center watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast stating the nature of the situation and requesting help from any nearby boaters while Coast Guard rescue crews were being deployed.

Command Center watch standers directed the launch of a small boat from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands and a helicopter from Forward Operating Base Point Mugu.

A nearby vessel, Sea Biscuit, heard the broadcast over the radio, quickly arrived on the scene and began to recover the personnel.

Shortly after that, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife small boat and a Coast Guard Station Channel Islands small boat arrived to embark the survivors and transport them to shore, where emergency medical services awaited their arrival.

“This was a dynamic case that resulted in lives saved due to the quick actions of a good Samaritan, our Coast Guard watch standers, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife,” said Capt. Ryan Manning, commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. “Thankfully, we were able to quickly respond to ensure all persons made it home safely.”

The vessel is fully submerged and anchored. A sheen has been reported in the vicinity; the vessel’s diesel fuel tanks have a total capacity of 220 gallons. The Coast Guard continues working closely with partner agencies to respond to the pollution and investigate the cause behind the grounding and sinking.


(SAN PEDRO, Calif.) — The U.S. Coast Guard and the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) completed the salvage operation of the charter passenger vessel Sea Jay near Santa Cruz Island on Saturday.

This operation included underwater assessment, refloating, stabilization and the safe transfer of the vessel to harbor.

“Our partnerships played a crucial role in the swift response and safe recovery and removal of the vessel. At no time during any phase of the operation were recoverable hydrocarbons present,” said Capt. Ryan Manning, the federal on-scene coordinator. “These actions have successfully mitigated any potential threat to public health and the environment.”

The Coast Guard, OSPR and all participating agencies have concluded recovery operations.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller