19 people stranded when sailboat mast breaks during storm in California. “Recipe for danger”

As the second atmospheric river storm After hitting the state, 19 boaters were stranded off the California coast, rescuers said.

With the strong winds caused by the storm, the mast of a 40-foot sailboat broke near Alamitos Bay in Long Beach, said Brian Fisk, firefighter and public information officer for the Long Beach Fire Department , to McClatchy News in a telephone interview.

The ship ended up hitting rocks near the Long Beach breakwater, Fisk said, adding that the high winds and “the size of the swells” were “just a recipe for danger.”

“They were virtually helpless without a veil,” Fisk said.

People on the boat sent a distress call on channel 16, a channel reserved for emergency marine traffic, according to Fisk.

After receiving the call, Fisk said rescuers headed toward the boaters in two rescue boats.

“The weather not only contributed to the incident itself, but it also made rescue efforts difficult,” Fisk said.

Along the way, eight people were picked up by another boat “which heard the emergency call or saw the incident,” Fisk said.

The remaining 11 boaters got off the sailboat onto the rocks, where rescuers joined them and pulled them to safety, Fisk said.

Of the 19 people rescued, Fisk said only one person had “non-life-threatening injuries.”

“We were very fortunate to be able to get there quickly,” Fisk said, “and they We were very lucky that there was a passerby, the Good Samaritan boat was also nearby.

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