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Fishermen, Dog Pulled From Sinking Boat

December 17, 1987|CAROLINE LEMKE | Times Staff Writer

Coast Guard and Navy helicopters rescued five fishermen and a dog from a sinking commercial fishing boat off San Clemente Island early Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard reported.

Crew members of 45-foot The San Diego were flown to San Diego's Coast Guard station before being transported back to Los Angeles, where the boat is based, said Coast Guard Lt. Bill Mello in San Diego. No one was injured.

After fishing for sea urchins Tuesday, The San Diego anchored for the night in an inlet off the island's China Point. Shortly before 4 a.m., one of the crew members woke up and discovered that the boat was taking on water, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard received a radio distress call from The San Diego saying that the bilges of the wood-hulled vessel were flooding, Mello said. A Coast Guard cutter responding to the call used pumps in an attempt to keep The San Diego afloat.

A Coast Guard helicopter and a Navy helicopter were called in at 6:08 a.m. when it was determined that the fishing boat would soon sink. The Navy copter took three crew members off the sinking ship and the Coast Guard rescued the two other men and the dog, Mello said.

Those rescued were identified as Young T. Kwon of Cambria, Calif.; William T. Smith of Long Beach; Hector De Jesus Rios of Ensenada, Mexico; Gordon Sturrock of Bellingham, Wash.; Michael Robaskiewicz of Long Beach, and Sailor, the dog, also of Long Beach.

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