Hunters Rescued When Small Boat Nearly Capsizes

Aluminum craft struggled in San Pablo Bay swells; two young men unhurt.

Two occupants of a small boat were rescued unhurt off the eastern Novato bayfront Monday morning after the craft got stuck near a duck blind, the Novato Fire District reported.

At 7:21 a.m., a 911 caller from Southern Marin reported that he was in cell phone contact with his son, who was on a boat off the marshlands between Black Point and Bel Marin Keys, according to Novato Fire Division Chief Mark Heine. The area is popular with duck hunters at this time of the year.

The boat, roughly 12 to 15 feet in length, was reportedly stuck near a duck blind and in danger of taking on water because of high swells on San Pablo Bay, Heine said.

"They had tied off and were getting back into the boat, and the swells sort of locked them into that spot," Heine said. "They were worried about capsizing."

Fire crews went to the Black Point boat launch near the base of the Petaluma Bridge. Water rescue specialists from the Marin County Urban Search and Rescue team, based at the Alto station in Strawberry, launched an inflatable boat and a Jet Ski from Black Point and headed onto the bay toward the southeast, just south of the mouth of Novato Creek. A Marin County Sheriff's Department boat also went to the area of the distress call.

The two boaters, men around 20 years old wearing camouflage outfits, were quickly located in an aluminum boat with an outboard motor and escorted back to Black Point about 80 minutes after the emergency call, Heine said. Neither required medical attention.

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Mike Euritt January 22, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Taking a Coast Guard or Power Squadron basic boating class would have given them the knowledge to deal better with the situation.


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