The owner of Sea Tow Santa Monica in Marina Del Rey, Calif., Capt. Brian Wood helped to rescue 12 people from the waters of the Pacific Ocean recently after the 36-foot high-performance boat they were on capsized in choppy seas about a mile from shore. The boat was floating with its stern into the waves when it took on water over the transom and sank.
Wood was first on the scene in his yellow Sea Tow Boat, within just a few minutes of hearing the distress call, and single-handedly pulled eight people out of the water.
“I saw some red life jackets intermittently pop up in the water, and then saw one arm wave,” said Wood. “I came in below them…then four people swam to my boat, so I tossed them the line and pulled them in. Then I pulled four more people out on my third throw.”
At that point, Capt. Wood’s Sea Tow boat was at its passenger capacity. “But by then the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene and got the other four out of the water,” he said, adding that everyone who had been aboard the capsized boat was rescued safely.
The lesson boaters can draw from this incident is to pay attention to the water conditions and make sure your bow is pointed into the waves, especially when your boat is floating or at anchor. In this case, the boat sank because waves were washing in over the stern and the driver didn’t notice until it was too late.