VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - All six people on board a sinking boat off the coast of Channel Islands Harbor are safe after a Sunday morning rescue effort.
Sunday morning brought an unusual distress call out of the Channel Islands Harbor. A 36-foot recreational boat was sinking with six people on board. It was nearly early 12 miles offshore of the Channel Islands Harbor when one of the passengers noticed the boat tilting in the water.
“The owner of the vessel went to check it out and saw his boat was quickly filling up with water,” said Logan Steinberger, a Coast Guard who was on duty. “He had just enough time to give the Mayday call to the Coast Guard and let us know his position which his really important and gave life jackets to everyone.”
The Coast Guard responded fast joined by a helicopter from the Naval Base at Point Mugu.
“We were actually in route to a cross-country flight and we were really close and so we flew over to assist,” said Derek Tharp, flight mechanic at Naval Base Point Mugu. “We saw the boat sink at that time and everyone exiting the boat with lifejackets on, then we made the decision to start with the child we saw.”
The youngest on the board was a 7-year-old child who was first to be pulled out of the water. Helicopters rescued three people from the water, while the Coast Guard boat pulled in the other three including a 15-year-old boy.
“They were all out just enjoying a day on the water, just fishing and they lived nearby,” said Steinberger. “Their boat was actually boarded here in the Channel Islands Harbor.
Passengers were in the water less than 30 minutes before being rescued. No one was hurt, and six people onboard were reunited at the Coast Guard's Channel Islands Station. There is still no word what caused the boat to sink.
“They were all in pretty good spirits considering what had happened to them,” said Steinberger.
“Once they got on the plane they seemed relieved and we reassured them that the boat was coming in to pick up the other three,” said Tharp. “They were stressed out but relieved.”