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Coast Guard Rescues Three off Sailboat Near Half Moon Bay

On late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard rescued three people from a 30-ft sailboat off Pillar Point.

“The owner of the 30-foot sailboat Freedom contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco command center at approximately 11 p.m., on Tuesday, reporting that [he] and the two other passengers aboard were feeling unsafe during their transit due to the harsh sea conditions,” a Coast Guard press release said. The Freedom later reported that they’d lost their steering, and their engine.

The Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Golden Gate, as well as a Dolphin helicopter crew.

A Coast Guard Dolphin hoists crew from the 30-foot sailboat Freedom on Wednesday morning.
© 2020 US Coast Guard/Seaman Ryan Estrada

“It was so dark out that I couldn’t see the boat, even while wearing night vision goggles, until we were right on top of it,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Steve King, the rescue swimmer aboard the Dolphin helicopter, said in the press release. “It was really great that they had flares.”

Katherine Voth, the aircraft commander of the Dolphin helicopter, said her team “did a great job working through these challenging conditions to result in three lives saved. This positive outcome was a direct result of the sailors having life jackets, flare guns and cell phones. In addition to these items, I also recommend having an EPIRB, survival radio and immersion suits whenever you go out on the water.”

The rescued crew from the Freedom (presumably the three in the middle with no shoes) poses with the Coast Guard Dolphin crew.

The Coast Guard said it has issued a safety marine-information broadcast for the adrift sailing vessel Freedom.


  1. Don Neilson 4 years ago

    Is that aircraft a sea creature or a French built aircraft known as a Dauphin?

  2. Rob Macfarlane 4 years ago

    The aircraft is an HH or MH-65 Dolphin used by the USCG. The aircraft is a variant of the AS365 Dauphin, but not identical to the Dauphin.

    • Don 4 years ago

      Enlightening. Thank you.

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