The U.S. Coast Guard, employing a Falcon jet flown in from San Diego, resumed its search Friday for two Santa Barbara commercial fishermen whose boat was found capsized with "HELP" scrawled on the hull.
Ted Hashamoto, 36, and William Dawson, 32, were several days overdue when the Coast Guard on Wednesday found their boat, the Carol Lee, upside down and partially submerged in an area where winds had whipped waves to heights of 18 feet.
A friend of the fishermen told the Coast Guard that Hashamoto had a contingency plan if he ever capsized, said Coast Guard spokesman Jose Rosario. Hashamoto had said that he would seek refuge in his dinghy and attach it to a fishing net, which would slow the boat's drift.
Rosario said the Coast guard was searching for the fishermen's 12-foot fiberglass dinghy, which had been aboard the fishing boat. The 39-foot Carol Lee was discovered 40 miles southwest of Los Angeles by the Coast Guard during a routine patrol.
On the boat's hull were the words "HELP, in lazz. I am alive." The word "lazz" means lazarette, a storage space between decks, Rosario said.
Navy divers were brought in by helicopter, but they found no sign of life inside the boat.