Coast Guard workers rescued two commercial fishermen after they were forced to abandon ship when it started taking on water near Crescent City, California.  A Coast Guard helicopter and two motor lifeboats raced out to the fishing vessel Flamingo to assist the mariners.

The commercial fishing vessel’s crew reported taking on water due to damage from 30-foot waves that had broken through the windows of the pilothouse and reported a fire aboard the vessel.  The Flamingo had a crew of two men on board.  The master and the deckhand both wore survival suits and worked to dewater the vessel.  The master of the vessel put the boat on autopilot and both men jumped off of the stern of the boat toward a rescue swimmer from the Coast Guard who took both men in tow.

The master of the vessel became immediately unresponsive after he jumped into the water and the rescue swimmer placed him in the rescue basket to be hoisted into the helicopter first.  Then the flight mechanic recovered the rescue swimmer and deckhand from the water.  The master remained unresponsive as the crew performed CPR until he was transferred to a waiting ambulance at Crescent City Airport.

The Coast Guard recommends mariners keep vigilant watch on weather conditions as they can rapidly deteriorate in the unpredictable waters of the Northern California and Oregon coastlines.