Yesterday around 12:21 p.m. a 20’ recreational boat was entering Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor when it began to take on water. United States Coast Guard personnel arrived on the scene and found the boat sinking. Despite attempts to keep the boat afloat, it sank and capsized requiring the coasties to right the boat and through a series of laborious steps extricate it from the harbor’s waters. Coast Guard Petty Officer Baron Wilhelm stationed at Noyo Harbor provided the details of the incident.
He told us a civilian reported a boat entering the harbor and it appeared to be sinking. Within five minutes, the Coast Guard responded.
When the Coast Guard came upon the boat, it was taking on water and the passengers were attempting to pump out the water.
In response, Officer Wilhelm said Coast Guard personnel proceeded to hook a line to the recreational boat to drag it to the docks. This plan was disrupted when the pump being used to de-water the boat failed causing the vessel to sink.
Conveniently, a boat dock was relatively close so the two civilians and two Coast Guard personnel on board leapfrogged to the nearby dock.
After the four aboard evacuated, the coasties were able to tie the boat to the dock before it sank and flip the boat upright while it was moored. They then muscled it to a nearby boat ramp and hauled it out of the water with a boat trailer.
When the boat was finally out of the water, investigators determined the cause of the boat taking on water was the boat’s seam splitting near the engine bay.
Despite the long series of mishaps, Officer Wilhelm said, “It was a good day for everyone.”In the spirit of nautical safety, Officer Wilhelm reminded all boaters to make sure and have a life jacket aboard in case of an emergency.