Coast Guard rescues five rowers off SLO County coast

June 23, 2014

helicopterThe U.S. Coast Guard rescued five rowers struggling to survive ocean currents west of San Luis Obispo County over the weekend.

The rowers were participating in a race from Monterey to Honolulu, but had to call its quits early on due to rough sea conditions. Coast Guard helicopters airlifted four men about 77 miles west of the county coastline on Saturday morning, then another about 50 miles off the coast of Morro Bay early Sunday morning.

Rough conditions were causing the rowers’ boats to capsize. Winds gusted at more than 30 mph in the area over the weekend, and waves swelled to nine feet tall.

Three of the rowers rescued were from England, and one was from New Zealand. San Diego resident Jim Bauer, 65, was the only American.

The 2,400-mile trek across the Pacific Ocean is known as the Great Pacific Race. The race began with 13 participants, but only seven now remain.

Bauer was the lone participant competing as a single rower.


20 Comments

  1. Citizen says:

    I have heard two different reasons as to why the Coast Guard cannot patrol or help with the Panga boat drug smuggling problem. (1) their budget has been cut and they don’t have the fuel to use. (2) their boat is supposed to be used for rescue only.

    Regardless, our Sheriff’s Department had to buy their own boat to deal with our Panga boat problem.

    Yet, this Great Pacific Race group from Great Britain can organize a dangerous race, and depend on our Coast Guard to rescue their people for free. In fact, their emergency rescue team is there to notify the Coast Guard of their position in the ocean.

    I don’t object to the rescue, but these daredevils need to put up a bond before the race to pay our Coast Guard for their work.

    Isn’t the first duty of the Coast Guard to guard our coast from invaders? Then why are they saying they can’t do it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. Rawhide says:

    Driving an automobile or bicycling down the road is high risk…
    When a person gets into an accident everyone but their uncle shows up…
    Do you have to pay for their services for being in an accident?
    Ambulance rides always cost…
    Scuba diving is a high risk adventure every time one goes out into the Sea.
    Sky Diving and Mountain Climbing the same…! Hiking in the High Sierras or riding an ATV on Pismo Beach…etc…

    All you Socialists spout the creed: From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs…then want them to pay more and more on top of that…
    The Coast Guard is being paid whether they say in port or not.
    Seems they have plenty of FUEL for Exercises off the entrance of Morro Bay, so they should have plenty of fuel for rescues…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  3. SanSimeonSam says:

    Now these are people who should have to pay the bill for the rescue. As a taxpayer i am fed up with having to pay for Stupid all the time. Its like the kayaker that got stuck under the bridge on SLO creek a few years back during that downpour.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

    • Theopneustic says:

      While I agree with you completely,it’s not just about money. It’s also about doing foolish things and putting other people at unnecessary risk, such as the Coast Guard while you’re try to prove something.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    • Old Salt says:

      these are people who should have to pay the bill for the rescue

      So, if a person or persons goes fishing off Spooners Cove in a small fishing boat or raft, or if a person or persons go Scuba Diving off Piedras Blancas in San Simeon or behind Morro Rock should they also be charged to be rescued if they find themselves in trouble? ? ?-

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

      • Theopneustic says:

        They guys set off on the adventure/thrill seeking during the period of the year which is the windiest, nastiest weather of the whole year on the coast. It is always this way during May and June. With all the data that is available on the internet now regarding current and historical weather conditions, there is no excuse.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

      • SanSimeonSam says:

        Old, is that a rhetorical question or do you really not see the difference between fishing off the coast and high risk extreme sports.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

      • MaryMalone says:

        I agree. The problem with using society’s resources for rescuing society’s people is this: who, how, and when will determine who is rescued and who is not? And what are the emotional and sociological costs to society for allowing people who could have been saved being allowed to die?

        Realistically, anyone who enters ocean water should take responsibility for what happens to them. There are things and conditions associated with the ocean which make it an unsafe environment for air-breathing, soft-bodied humans.

        So where do we draw the line? Should we not rescue children playing in the waves? If you believe children should be forbidden rescue by tax-funded rescue workers, does that mean if a child is bitten by a shark and manages to get themselves to shore, can they be treated by rescue workers then? Or must the lifeguard and other witnesses must be forced to watch the child bleed out in front of them?

        What if the parents get their dying child to the ER alive…Should emergency staff be allowed to treat the child? Or must they call Security to block admission of a father holding his dying child in their arms, trying desperately to get help?

        And what about rescue specialists and trauma medical personnel? Most of them chose this challenging career because they want to help those who need them the most. How many would continue working in that line of work if they had to ignore cries for help of people who may die if not treated?

        Any attempt to limit responses to emergencies would have to be beset by thousands of criteria for when a person could be rescued. The problem is, most rescues require quick, decisive action. So how is the requirement for a set of criteria to be assessed before emergency services can be rendered?

        I understand the knee-jerk response to people who take extraordinary risks, and I also understand people resenting society having to pick up the tab for problems arising from those risky activities. But that is part of the cost of living in our society, as it is.

        And I don’t think many of us would want to live in the kind of hardened society that would result from being forced to watch others die in front of us…not because there was no way to save them, but because had decided, for economic reasons, they were not worth the financial cost of saving them.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      I’m with you. I say use the C.G. for TRUE rescues. This was a planned event. If you want to go thrill seeking then they should either put down a deposit with the state if they want state resources or they can hire their own support crew to run along side them on their journey.

      It is like the lame brain hiker up north of Cambria last year that went BY HIMSELF and then we have to send in people to rescue him after he went missing and was hurt, because it’s his right, etc. Yea right to be stupid.

      Just used the term AGAIN in another article here………….PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!
      We are lacking it and want everyone else to babysit us.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      • MaryMalone says:

        Who decides what constitutes “true rescues”?

        How do you think the rescue personnel would react to a micromanaging bean-counter telling them who they can rescue and who they have to watch die?

        Rescue workers have the right to not perform a rescue if they deem it to be unsafe, so they have that contingency covered. Let’s not make their work harder than it is by puttingthem at the mercy of clueless money-handlers while they are doing that work.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    • indigo1955 says:

      This is such an interesting post! It is absolutely, and without a doubt, the most perfect example of individualist consciousness I have ever seen, and that is mainly due to the theme that exhibits the old “I have mine-now you go die in a hole somewhere” mentality. (Which is, according to quantum physicists who study human consciousness, a level that is dragging the whole of the unified field of consciousness down and keeping the world from being a good place to live [for everyone]). What would you think if perhaps you pay a flat fee for this service from your taxes….but really no more than if the Coast Guard just hangs around headquarters that day playing cards and drinking coffee and end up with no one to rescue?

      And what if everything the superstring quantum physicists are saying about human consciousness are true? (Which I am certain you are well-informed of-as opposed to Stupid who almost accidently drowned).

      Perhaps there is the slight chance…however seemingly remote…that tears of joy were shed somewhere just after that rescue. That family embraced in England or New Zealand (or even at American Jim Bauer’s house) tearfully grateful that a loved one is safe. Perhaps a daughter is pregnant for the first time (and was hugely relieved grandpa will see the child after all). Or maybe a spouse with cancer waits, relieved they still have their “special someone” to hold their hand while they face the ordeal of chemo.

      It is a sad testament to humanity that you do not see these things, but instead are worried about a few dollars-money…that is all it is-instead of the rescue of dearly loved people. This is a huge problem in our society, this darkness of heart, this “mine, mine, mine-and none for you” mentality. I dearly and earnestly wish you an upcoming event that will forever shift your reality.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

      • Russ J says:

        Indigo – I think the point trying to be made, is that they should have provided for a contingency rescue i.e. their own chopper/chase vessel. The resources used for this rescue became temporarily unavailable for sailboats, fishing boats and other ocean going vessels that could become disabled. Rowing across an ocean is extremely risky and doing so now in the month of June with the winds blowing like they have been is just plain tomfoolery. Oh and by the way, one of these geniuses was 65 years old – what the hell?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

        • MaryMalone says:

          Question to the group:

          In the case of rescue personnel knowing in advance an event is to occur, do they have the right to tell the event staff IN ADVANCE that they will not provide services for the event?

          Who would make that determination? I am assuming it would be someone up the management level, but that may not be true.

          How would the rescue personnel feel about knowing participants in the event may die because they are not allowed to perform rescue services?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          • BeenThereDoneThat says:

            Simple. Take the guy who was 64 and they rescued. He wasn’t in bad health or any serious injury. He was getting tossed by the waves and cried No Mas.

            If they had chase boats like I said, they could have plucked him from the water easily and everything would have been fine. If it was more serious, THEN call the C.G.

            I am not opposed to using, as I assume most aren’t but it is the same type of morons that run to the E.R. for a head cold and drive up costs for everyone else, because…………….they don’t THINK!!!!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        • indigo1955 says:

          People make mistakes-no matter what their age. And no matter who they are-they deserve to get rescued if they make an error in judgment. Bottom line-people are equal.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

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