Battling 12-foot seas and 30-mph winds, the Coast Guard plucked four people from a life raft near Big Sur on Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The four were rescued shortly after the tug boat they were on suddenly sank, said Coast Guard Lt. Mark Leahey. The boat, Delta Captain, went down so quickly that the four crew members didn’t have time to don their cold water immersion gear before getting into their raft.
The wind and waves added to their peril as the boat drifted in the Pacific Ocean.
“It was kickin’ out there,” Leahey said. “It was lucky for our fast response.”
The Delta Captain was towing a barge southward along the coast when it went down for undetermined reasons, Leahey said. The crew sent a distress signal about 2:55 p.m. Saturday.
An HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter that took off from San Francisco was on the scene within about an hour. A Coast Guard rescue diver was lowered from the aircraft and helped the crew members, one by one, from their raft into a metal basket in which they were pulled to safety.