The Coast Guard saved two people from their sinking Beneteau 55 17 miles offshore, south of Monterey Friday afternoon. At 4:38 p.m., Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received a VHF-FM radio transmission distress call from a person aboard a 55-foot sailboat, who reported the vessel was taking on water at a rapid rate. The two people aboard could not identify why the boat was
sinking, and the vessel’s built-in dewatering pump was not able to keep up with the flooding water.

The vessel was reported to be located approximately 60 miles south of Monterey and 17 miles offshore, in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Two rescue boat crews were dispatched from Coast Guard Station Monterey and Station Morro Bay, and a search-and-rescue helicopter aircrew was launched from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco.

The on-scene weather was reported as six-to-eight-foot high sea swells and 20-to-25- mph winds. The two people aboard the sinking vessel were equipped with personal floatation devices, a rescue life raft and an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, which was activated to assist the rescue crews in locating their exact position. At 6:40 p.m, the rescue aircrew located the sailboat with the two people aboard. Utilizing the rescue swimmer, both survivors were hoisted from the sinking sailboat and into the helicopter where they were transported to safety. The sailboat was not salvageable due to the amount of flooding.

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