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Sailboat Abandoned off Año Nuevo

Alone offshore of the Central Coast was not a great place to be Monday morning. Due to incoming water and damage, the IOR one-tonner Kentucky Woman had to be abandoned. 

© US Coast Guard

Conditions off the Central California coast Monday morning were rough and rowdy, with 40- to 50-knot winds reported, accompanied by 15- to 20-ft waves. Unfortunately, the Peterson-designed one-tonner Kentucky Woman was out in it, with only one as-yet-unidentified crew aboard.

After battling with incoming water for 16 hours, and coping with a shredded mainsail, the skipper called for rescue at 7 a.m. Monday via his SPOT Satellite Messenger, which sent a mayday message — similar to that of an EPIRB — to SAR (Search and Rescue) resources. Due to damage aboard, the sloop’s radio had become unusable.

The red-hulled sloop has spent time in both Pacific Northwest and Northern California waters. 

© Augusto Ulloa

According to the Coast Guard, an air rescue helicopter was launched at 7:31 a.m. and its crew located the red-hulled vessel 40 minutes later, roughly 30 miles off Año Nuevo State Park (north of Santa Cruz), with the remnants of a sail flying from its masthead. A rescue swimmer was lowered near the hull and climbed aboard. But because the mast was intact, both the Guardsman and the solo sailor had to jump in the roiling water before they could be hoisted to safety. The boat was left to drift.

Precarious rescues like this are all in a day’s work for Coast Guard rescue crew.
Video courtesy US Coast Guard.

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