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14 rescued after charter boat hits rock and sinks near Santa Cruz Island

Posted at 1:32 PM, Jun 15, 2023

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — Ten passengers and four crew members were rescued from a sinking vessel off the coast of Southern California early Thursday, the Coast Guard said.

The captain of the charter vessel Sea Jay reported around 2:30 a.m. that the boat struck a rock and was taking on water near Santa Cruz Island, a Coast Guard statement said.

The captain told everyone to abandon the ship while he anchored the vessel and released a life raft. He then also boarded the raft, the statement said.

The Coast Guard issued a marine radio broadcast asking for help from any nearby boaters and dispatched a small boat and a helicopter from the mainland.

A nearby vessel called the Seabiscuit quickly arrived and began taking on the Sea Jay’s passengers and crew. They were later put aboard boats from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Coast Guard for the trip back to shore.

The Coast Guard said the Sea Jay remained anchored but was fully submerged and a sheen was seen in the vicinity. The service said it was working with partner agencies to respond to the pollution.