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SAN DIEGO â€” One person is dead and five others were rescued by a San Diego-based Coast Guard aircrew, Saturday, after their boat drifted into the surf and broke apart near San Clemente Island, Calif., during a sailboat race.
The 30-foot sailboat Uncontrollable Urge crew issued a mayday call and activated their Digital Selective Calling feature on their VHF marine radio around 9:26 p.m., Friday, after the sailboat’s rudder failed and they began drifting toward San Clemente Island during the Islands Race.
The crew initially stated they were not in need of assistance and declined assistance from both the Coast Guard and other boaters involved in the race. The sailors requested assistance from a commercial salvage company, however they were unable to launch due to weather conditions.
The sailors attempted to anchor the vessel just after 11 p.m., however the anchor would not catch and the vessel drifted closer to the island. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched from Coast Guard Sector San Diego and Coast Guard Cutter Edisto was diverted to the scene.
The boat entered the surf line and was broken apart by the waves, forcing the crew to abandon the vessel.
The helicopter crew hoisted the six sailors and brought them to the Sector where they were met by emergency medical personnel for transport to a local hospital.
The weather on scene was 8-foot swells with 20-25-knot winds with a small craft advisory in effect.