Yesterday, Fort Bragg’s Telstar Charter boat found itself adrift in the Pacific Ocean after its steering capabilities failed. In a demonstration of nautical prowess and the power of local resources, a crew of sailors from the United States Coast Guard Station Noyo River responded and successfully towed the distressed vessel back to shore.
Boatswain Mate John Lily, a boat operator with the United States Coast Guard Station Noyo River, told us Coast Guard personnel received news of a boat, three miles south of Noyo Harbor, “drifting” after it had lost its steering. The Humboldt Bay Marine Sector broadcasted a “Marine Assistance Request” to the region characterizing the incident as presenting “no immediate danger” which allows for civilian mariners to respond if available.
Lily told us Coast Guard personnel launched their 47-foot motor lifeboat and were quickly alongside the Telstar. Assessing ocean conditions, Lily described the ocean swells as 4-6 feet with winds 15-20 knots out of the south, and visibility of 8 nautical miles.
Commencing the rescue, Coast Guard personnel asked the crew and passengers of the Telstar to put on their life jackets and asked the crew to assist in the operation of a bridle allowing for a 300-foot stern tow, essentially pulling the Telstar the three miles back to Noyo Harbor.
Lily said pulling into Noyo Harbor required the transition to a side-tow after which the Telstar arrived safely mooring her alongside Sea Pals restaurant.
Lily, reflecting on the day’s successful rescue, reminded mariners of all types of the importance of bringing along essential safety equipment including a working radio, a charged cell phone, and “always leaving a float plan with somebody you trust.”
He added that if anyone is experiencing issues in the seas off of the Mendocino Coast, contact the United States Coast Guard Station at Noyo River on channel 16, channel 22 alpha, or call (707) 964-6611 and “we’d be happy to help.”