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Press Release | June 15, 2023

Coast Guard, good Samaritan and partner agencies rescue 14 people who abandoned ship near Santa Cruz Island

Coast Guard District Eleven

SAN PEDRO, Calif – At 2:33 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach Command Center watchstanders received a mayday call from the captain of the charter passenger vessel Sea Jay reporting they had struck a rock and were taking on water with ten passengers and four crewmembers onboard.

The captain told the passengers and crew to abandon the ship while he anchored the vessel and released the life raft before boarding the raft as well.

Command Center watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast stating the nature of the situation and requesting help from any nearby boaters while Coast Guard rescue crews were being deployed.  

Command Center watchstanders directed the launch of a small boat from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands and a helicopter from Forward Operating Base Point Mugu. 

A nearby vessel, the Sea Biscuit, heard the broadcast over the radio, quickly arrived on the scene and began to recover the survivors. 

Shortly after that, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife small boat and a Coast Guard Station Channel Islands small boat arrived to embark the survivors and transport them to shore, where emergency medical services awaited their arrival. 

"This was a dynamic case that resulted in lives saved due to the quick actions of a good Samaritan, our Coast Guard watchstanders, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife," said Capt. Ryan Manning, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach. "Thankfully, we were able to quickly respond to ensure all persons made it home safely." 

The vessel is fully submerged, anchored, and a sheen has been reported in the vicinity of the vessel. The vessel's diesel fuel tanks have a total capacity of 220 gallons. The Coast Guard continues working closely with partner agencies to respond to the pollution and investigate the cause behind the grounding and sinking.