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Vessel Abandoned off Crescent City after USCG Rescue

We received word from delivery skipper Arnstein Mustad, who is on a delivery north to Seattle, that the USCG was broadcasting a security alert to mariners regarding an abandoned sailboat drifting approximately 100nm west of Crescent City, CA. At 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, USCG Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders received a VHF distress call from the crew of the 79-ft sailboat, Barlovento. The crew reported that their boat was disabled, taking on water, and that one crewmember had sustained a head and arm injury. The boat was around 80 miles offshore in approximately 60 mph winds and 20-ft seas.

The rescue was enacted by a Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27J Spartan fixed-wing crew providing air support.

According to the USCG, the Dolphin crew arrived on the scene and hoisted the injured person from the Barlovento and transported the person to local emergency medical services personnel at USCG Sector Humboldt Bay.

The Dolphin crew then returned to the scene and hoisted three more people from the Barlovento. The Air Station North Bend Dolphin crew arrived on scene and hoisted the remaining two people.

Lt. Ryan O’Neill, a Dolphin aircraft commander at Sector Humboldt Bay, said, “This case was a great example of a successful, multi-unit effort and highlights the importance of standardized procedures. The careful coordination between the two helicopters with support from the C-27 allowed us to save all six sailors.”

Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders have issued a broadcast to mariners regarding the abandoned Barlovento and requested that mariners transit the area with caution.

USCG Pacific Southwest shared this video on its Twitter page:




  1. Sally 3 years ago

    Yay USCG!

  2. Robert H 3 years ago

    Well Done! 60 mph and 20ft seas! Heroes all of you, thanks for saving so many!

  3. Joseph DiMatteo, P.E. 3 years ago

    Great job by the USCG. More info on the Barlovento? Inquiring minds what to know:)

  4. Mark M 3 years ago

    Excellent job in tough conditions. Congratulations to all the Coast Guard folks who made it happen. Aircrew, maintenance personnel, operations people etc. When everything works like this it’s no coincidence. It is the result of relentless training, discipline and of course courage.

  5. William P 3 years ago

    It appears Barlovento was built for the Du Pont family and had a dual-daggerboard setup. I don’t know if this causes extra risk to water ingress.

  6. michael kunes 3 years ago

    As a delivery captain, who takes boats around Cape Mendocino 5-10 times per year, I have to wonder why a 79ft boat was 60 miles offshore!!?!? My regards and respect to the rescue crews, who had to fly those long distances!!! The bouy at Mendocino is 5 miles out. There is NO reason to be more than 8 miles out.

  7. Tom D 3 years ago

    Michael Kunes, surely you’ve headed South and contrary winds won’t allow you make any southing? A long time ago I crewed on a 65′ gaff schooner on a trip from Puget Sound to San Francisco when a weather system gave us a good hard blow from the southwest for several days. We made the best course we could but ended up 200 miles offshore before the weather system moved on and let us set a course down the coast. But as a delivery skipper, I would imagine that you’re talking about doing that sort of passage under power, right?

  8. Davin 3 years ago

    So sad. I used to race against the Barlovento and have sailed on her as well. Beautiful schooner. I am glad that no lives were lost.

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