One sailor died and five others were rescued  during a race off Southern California, authorities said Saturday.

The crew radioed a mayday call Friday night when the the 32-foot Uncontrollable Urge lost steering capabilities. They also activated a feature on the boat that provided GPS coordinates and other information to authorities, but they declined assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard and other boaters, instead requesting a tow boat.

However, rough seas prevented the tow boat from reaching the disabled boat and pushed it toward San Clemente Island, where it broke apart.

According to one of the race organizers, the crew attempted to deploy a life raft and anchor the boat, but failed. Crewmembers abandoned ship when it entered the surf line and broke apart.

“They were not in immediate danger and thought they would be able to manage completing the race and get assistance on their own,” said Chuck Hope, commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club. “Then things got worse.”