Coast Guard, Mexican Navy conduct joint rescue

By Jeff Ristine,
Originally published October 8, 2010 at 3:02 p.m., updated October 8, 2010 at 3:04 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Navy joined forces early Friday to rescue two people on a boat that struck a tuna pen near the Coronado Islands and began taking on water.

As water flooded the pleasure craft, the operator and his son donned life jackets and launched flares to assist in the emergency response, the Coast Guard said.

The incident began late Thursday when a U.S.-registered, 29-foot craft named Reel of Fortune collided with a floating tuna pen in Mexican waters, about a mile south of the Coronado Islands. The boat was disabled but the situation didn’t become serious until after the operator’s first call to the Coast Guard, when he realized it was taking on water.

The Coast Guard cutter Edisto and a Jayhawk helicopter from San Diego responded, but the Mexican Navy was first on the scene, the Coast Guard said. Other boaters near the area also closed in, responding to an urgent marine information broadcast.

Pumps kept up with the flooding but the boat's batteries were losing power as the Navy and Coast Guard arrived.

The Mexican Navy towed the boat to Ensenada with its operator; his son was transported to San Diego aboard the cutter. ... nt-rescue/