Sunday October 22
|By: Robert Tongen|
|The sun was trying to shine through the tree next to the parking lot by the CIH EZ Launch as Peter O'Sullivan, Lance Pillsbury, George Bell and I prepared to launch. There were a number of new single sculls rowing in the channel next to the dock. Several of them had small floats attached to the oarlocks for stability if they started to tip. Lance referred to them as "training wheels."
As we got our radios turned on, just after 8:00AM, we heard a call from the Harbor Patrol, stating, "there was a boat overturned at the west end of the breakwater and a swimmer in the water. The Harbor Patrol was on station." As we paddled out the harbor we were passed by a TowboatU.S. vessel assist boat. As we passed Kiddie Beach, there were many more seals on Hobie Beach and only a couple dozen next to the wall on Kiddie Beach.
Lance and George sped up to paddle to points south. When Peter and I got to the pond, the Harbor Patrol and TowboatU.S. were both there with their emergency lights flashing. The TowboatU.S. had a line on the overturned ~18 foot outboard and was trying to fasten a second line to it. Peter paddled over to the Harbor Patrol and asked if we could be of assistance in fastening the line. The Harbor Patrol warned us to stay well away from the rescue effort. There was a second TowboatU.S. coming and they were going to tow the boat and had a way to right it as towing. The second boat arrived from Ventura and worked on attaching another line, but it continued to come off. as we watched Lance and George returned since George was not feeling well. As George paddled back to the EZ Launch, one gunnel of the overturned boat came out of the water and the towboat accelerated. The overturned boat did start to right itself, but still listed about 30 degrees to the port side. We were surprised to see there was a large fixed canopy on the boat being rescued. The towboat continued to tow the listing boat attempting to drain it and headed around the west end of the breakwater..
Lance and I headed around the east end of the breakwater to watch the towboat on the other side. Peter decided to follow George and make sure he was O.K. As we cleared the end of the breakwater we saw the towboat now slowly towing the upside down boat it was rescuing. We watched them, in 4 to 5 foot swells, as they passed us on the way back to the pond. We paddle to and around the west end of the breakwater and back to where the two towboats were still trying to attach a second line to the overturned boat. with the same lack of results. When we got bored, after at least 2 hours of attempted rescue, and the progress right where it was when we arrived, we headed back to the EZ Launch.
As we passed Kiddie Beach the seal populating on the beach looked to have tripled, while seals on Hobie Beach were fewer.
That is the way it was this Sunday the 22nd of Oct. 2023.
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