A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescued two of the three passengers from a disabled sailing vessel Thursday morning about 30 miles off the coast of Oceanside after the boat was beset by bad weather and rough seas Wednesday night, authorities said.
One of the men rescued by the helicopter crew was an 80-year-old with a head injury and apparent medical complications from diabetes, while the other was a 25-year-old showing signs of dehydration.
Coast Guard Sector San Diego officials were first contacted by the crew of the Julia B. Lewis, a 35-foot sailing vessel, around 5 p.m. Wednesday, officials said. The three men aboard the ship reported two were seasick and the other had a head injury.
The Coast Guard cutter Halibut arrived to help the disabled sailing vessel around 8:15 p.m. The crew launched a smaller rescue boat to get to the Julia B. Lewis, but were unable to reach it because of the weather and choppy water, Coast Guard officials said in a statement.
The Halibut stayed with the disabled ship through the night and planned to tow it to a safe harbor once the weather permitted Thursday morning.
But around 7:45 a.m. Thursday, the disabled vessel’s crew reported the deteriorating health of two of the three men on board.
San Diego Coast Guard personnel launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter around 8:15 a.m., and a rescue swimmer was lowered into the water to provide medical care to the two patients before helping to hoist them aboard the helicopter.
The two men were flown back to San Diego, where they arrived a little before noon, and then taken by ambulance to Balboa Naval Medical Center. Both were admitted in stable condition, officials said.
Meanwhile, the third mariner aboard the disabled vessel, a 54-year-old man, stayed with the boat as the Halibut towed it toward safety. The Coast Guard cutter was expected to tow the Julia B. Lewis to Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island.