5 rescued off the coast of Southern California after a tanker apparently struck a small fishing boat

Image by Leticia Juarez

Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 3:04 a.m

Tanker Apparently Rams Small Fishing Boat Off Southern California Coast; 5 saved

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — An evening of basket netting for lobsters nearly ended in disaster for the crew aboard a small fishing boat.

On Saturday, Redondo Beach Fire, Los Angeles County lifeguards, the Coast Guard and other forces responded to a distress call to search for a ship in distress.

“They deployed a flare and our resources initially flowed to what they thought was the boat. The flare indicated the ship was further away,” said Chief Jason May of the Redondo Beach Fire Department.

Due to heavy fog, it took rescuers an hour to locate the boat. Inside the boat they found five injured passengers; Two with serious injuries and three with minor injuries were taken to hospital.

“The ship was involved in a serious accident,” May said. “The ship took on water. They couldn’t lower their anchor.”

What caused the accident? Authorities believe it is likely the boat was struck by a tanker after it veered off course and entered a 22-mile stretch of busy shipping lanes.

“They should have been aware of this. The shipping routes used by these large ocean-going vessels are clearly marked on the nautical charts,” May said.

The boat was two to three miles from Point Vicente Lighthouse, but it is unclear whether the passengers on board knew they were heading into dangerous territory because of the fog.

“The big tankers need several miles to change the course of the ship, even when they are aware that the ship is right in front of them,” May said. “So these smaller ships have to be aware of their surroundings, aware of it Be clear that you are fishing in an approved area and stay away from areas from which you are excluded, such as transit routes.”

While the Redondo Beach Harbor Patrol’s mission is to assist vessels in distress, they want boaters to be aware of weather conditions and shipping lanes before spending a day or evening on the water.

The incident is under investigation.

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Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: LauraCoffey@worldtimetodays.com.

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