Posted by on April 03, 2005 at 23:17:00:
SAN DIEGO - A 52-foot powerboat sank approximately five miles south of Point Loma Mar. 22.
The two passengers, whose names were not released by the Coast Guard, climbed into a small life raft where they sat for four hours until 7 p.m. when a passing boat spotted them.
“There was a radio call received at approximately 7 o’clock from the motor vessel Dolphin that reported seeing a dinghy adrift with two people on board,” said Coast Guard Public Information Officer Robert Lanier. “The Coast Guard dispatched the 175-foot buoy tender George Cobb, which happened to be in the area.”
The San Pedro-based buoy tender responded by heading toward that location. Meanwhile, the two men in the life raft were taken aboard Dolphin.
“They told the people aboard the Dolphin that their vessel was taking on water, and they abandoned ship.”
George Cobb arrived on scene and took the stranded men aboard. The were reported in good condition, Lanier said, but were a little chilly, having been drifting for four hours.
It is not known whether the men tried to issue a mayday on VHF radio channel 16, or whether they unsuccessfully used flares to make their 3 p.m. foundering known to authorities.
The men were taken to the B Street Pier in San Diego where they met with paramedics. The owner and passenger were reportedly tired and shaken up but otherwise in good condition. It is unknown whether they were taken in for care or observation.
The boat, a 1962 57-foot Chris Craft named Oceana Princess, was discovered afloat, but bow down in the vicinity. A Coast Guard aircraft flew overhead and saw debris, but reported no oil slick or similar environmental damage.
The crew of the Coast Guard aircraft saw the partially submerged Oceana Princess being towed to San Diego.
The owner and passenger told authorities that the vessel began taking on water faster than they could deal with it. “It was completely submerged when they jumped into their dinghy,” Lanier said.
“There is no Coast Guard investigation into the sinking that I’m aware of,” said Lanier.
Coast Guard vessel documentation sources list Barry R. Fitt as owner of a 1962 wooden vessel named Oceana Princess that matches the description of the foundered boat. Efforts to contact the San Diego man were unsuccessful.V
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