News: Coast Guard rescues 4 Great Pacific Race rowers off California coast
Story by Chief Petty Officer Rachel Polish
ALAMEDA, Calif. - The Coast Guard rescued four rowers Saturday, who were participating in the Great Pacific Race from Monterey, California, to Honolulu, when their rowboat began taking on water Friday evening.
At 9 p.m., the Coast Guard command center in Alameda received a call from the Marine Rescue Coordination Center in Falmouth, England, about a 24-foot rowboat that was taking on water. MRCC Falmouth received the initial distress notification because the emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) for the rowboat was registered in England.
A sailboat, functioning as a safeboat for the Great Pacific Race, was first on scene, but could not complete the transfer of the rowers due to high winds and rough seas. The Coast Guard launched a helicopter from Air Station San Francisco and a C-130 plane from Air Station Sacramento, locating the rowers at 1 a.m. Pacific Time and approximately 75 miles west of San Luis Obispo, California.
Once on scene, the Coast Guard helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer to the rowboat, who hoisted three rowers into the helicopter. The rescue swimmer remained on scene with the fourth rower. The helicopter crew took the three rowers to San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport to awaiting EMT crews. The helicopter crew refueled and returned to the rowboat, where the fourth rower and rescue swimmer were hoisted into the aircraft. At approximately 4 a.m., the fourth rower was taken to Monterey Regional Airport.
All four rowers are reportedly in good condition and did not require further medical attention.