New wreck dive - Redondo Beach?

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Posted by Jim on February 19, 2023 at 10:27:01:

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Four people were rescued in the early morning hours of Feb 8 after their 42-foot commercial fishing vessel sank 1,000 feet off of the Redondo Beach Esplanade.

A Harbor Patrol boat responded to a call from someone on the Redondo Pier who heard yells for help out in the ocean. At 2:24 a.m., three men were found clinging to floating debris. They had been in the water for more than an hour, without life jackets.

A fourth crew member was missing.

According to Jason May, Redondo Beach Fire Department division chief/operations, the men told harbor patrol rescuers their vessel, named “Matador,” took on water and went under before they could radio an S.O.S.

Harbor Patrol Boat 63 pulled the three men from the 56-degree water and set out for an approximate last-known location for the fourth crewmember, given by one of the first three victims.

Harbor Patrol called in help from the Coast Guard as Boat 63 kept up the search, west of where the initial crewmembers were found.

Within minutes the fourth man was seen, sitting on top of a small, capsized (dinghy) about 300 yards from the initial group. He was assisted onto Boat 63.

The four men were taken to shore and transferred by ambulance to a hospital, to be treated for suspected hypothermia.

“A very impressive, successful rescue,” said Redondo Beach Fire Chief Pat Butler, who is also the harbor master. “(The crewmen) were right at the critical point when we found them.”

L.A. County’s Baywatch Redondo towed the dinghy to the dock at Fire Station No. 3 at King Harbor.

The next day, volunteer free divers (without air tanks) located the Matador wreck in 130 feet of water. Video they shot showed the boat intact, leading to plans to raise it, according to Butler.

The Matador operated regularly out of King Harbor. On Feb. 7-8, it was nighttime fishing to gather bait for the bait barge inside the breakwall.

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