Stranded Boaters Rescued

Two Alameda residents were rescued from Ballena Bay after their private vessel capsized and they were left stranded late Saturday, July 14.

"Our officers got a phone call from the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) at 8:04 p.m. that a vessel capsized on the south end of Ballena Bay," said Alameda Police Department (APD) public information officer Lt. Ted Horlbeck.

Officers arrived at the scene and located the vessel, described in the official police report as a 17-foot pleasure craft, flipped upside down. AFD paramedics assisted APD in the rescue, but APD also got help from another source.

There were three passengers total on the vessel, all male, ages 33, 56 and 59 (APD would not release the names of stranded individuals). One passenger was able to swim to shore on his own after he was dropped into the water. Another man fell into the water and was "floating on his back" according to the police report. "He appeared to be in a lot of be in a lot of distress," said Horlbeck. "Officers said the man was 'thrashing his arms and legs.'"

Officer Miele used a life ring to rescue the man and bring him to shore. However, it was the third rescue that was the most unusual.

The third passenger managed to climb atop, or onto the bottom of, the boat. Then, two unknown private citizens used their own boat to rescue the stranded individual.

"The private citizens just so happened to be there and they brought him to land," said Horlbeck. "They also towed the vessel to shore."

Once all three stranded passengers reached the shore they received medical assistance from AFD. One man was sent to the hospital with hypothermia, according to Horlbeck.

Contact Ekene Ikeme at eikeme@


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