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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

8 Rescued After Boat Hits Rock Wall, Sinks

August 15, 2000

LONG BEACH — Eight people were rescued from the water about two miles off the coast of Long Beach after their boat hit a rock wall and sank early Monday morning, authorities said.

The boaters, who spent only 10 minutes in the water before lifeguards reached them, were not injured, said Rick Pillsbury, a Long Beach Fire Department spokesman.

The group was on its way back from San Diego after a day of fishing when their 42-foot vessel crashed into the federal breakwater near the Queen's Gate entrance just before 1 a.m., Pillsbury said.

The boat's occupants were able to put out a distress call to the Coast Guard before sinking, but lifeguards from the Long Beach Fire Department were closer and reached the passengers first, Pillsbury said. Coast Guard rescuers also responded by boat and helicopter, said Petty Officer Kerry Kingery.

When lifeguards reached the boaters, they found them floating in life jackets about 200 feet from the breakwater, Pillsbury said. They spent 10 minutes in the 68-degree water and were not taken to the hospital. The people ranged in age from 17 to 58, and most of them were from the Carson, Lynwood and Lakewood areas, Pillsbury said.

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