A Santa Barbara man who had spent 19 hours in the ocean after he and a friend abandoned their sinking boat was rescued from Santa Cruz Island Friday evening by a passing sailboat, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.
Mark Lowe, 25, told officials that his friend from San Diego died in the ocean as they were swimming about eight miles from the island. The dead man's identity was withheld pending notification of relatives.
Lowe was wearing a diver's wet suit, said Coast Guard Petty Officer James MacPherson. His friend was not.
The Coast Guard had been searching for the men since 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, when they radioed that their boat was taking on water, MacPherson said. Lowe reached Santa Cruz Island at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
He was taken by Coast Guard helicopter to St. John's Hospital in Oxnard. His condition was listed as stable.