Coast Guard, Alameda Fire Assist Grounded Dragon Boat

Coast Guard, Alameda Fire Assist Grounded Dragon Boat


16 rowers get stuck on estuary shore

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer teamed up with a crew from an Alameda Fire Department (AFD) rescue boat to assist 16 Dragon Boat rowers to safety last Saturday. The rowers’ vessel took on water and ran aground some 50 yards north of Coast Guard Island. 

Around 11:30 a.m., AFD crewmembers notified the Coast Guard that they noticed the Dragon Boat aground off the north side of Coast Guard Island. AFD informed the Coast Guard that the water was too shallow for its rescue boat to approach the grounded boat. 

The Coast Guard reached a rower aboard the Dragon Boat by cell phone and learned that the vessel had a hole in its hull. It was taking on water and was sitting on the bottom with the tide coming in. Several rowers stood around the Dragon Boat in waist-high water while others remained aboard. All rowers were wearing life jackets.

The Coast Guard dispatched crews aboard a Dolphin helicopter and a 45-foot response boat. AFD’s rescue boat and a Dragon Boat from the California Dragon Boat Association also arrived to assist.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was deployed from the helicopter onto Coast Guard Island. The swimmer reached the grounded Dragon Boat and — with the assistance of AFD’s rescue boat crew — helped all 16 rowers safely onto the second Dragon Boat. 

All rowers are accounted for and out of danger.