San Diego Harbor Police Rescue Stranded Boaters in a Shallow Water Maneuver

Police Rescue

On Saturday, December 23rd, several San Diego Harbor Police officers assisted a family who had undertaken a holiday cruise. The unnamed family of eight had boarded a 30-foot long vessel to spend the afternoon sailing on San Diego Bay. However, their excursion ended abruptly when their boat ran aground on a sandbar just off Gunpowder Point. The vessel became stranded in the midst of the very shallow waters about 50 yards away from the nearest ship.

Gunpowder Point

A part of the National Wildlife Refuge, Gunpowder Point lies within an area of wetlands and marshes. It sits close to both Interstate-5 and the Sweetwater Flood Control Channel, not far from Chula Vista. The point adjoins the Sweetwater Marsh; it contains extensive sandbars.

Vessels intended for deeper waters which travel outside the nearby water channel risk becoming grounded on the sandbars forming Gunpowder Point. The accident occurred at 3:10 p.m. The sudden grounding of the pleasure vessel reportedly caused some casualties.

A Shallow Water Rescue Effort

A San Diego Harbor police lieutenant later reported that four members of the family sustained physical injuries during the incident. Three people required medical treatment at a local hospital. The abrupt grounding produced an impact causing non-life threatening back, facial and shoulder injuries.

Lt. Dominick Boccia indicated members of a San Diego Harbor Police dive unit decided to wade out to rescue the stranded occupants of the vessel. They assisted everyone to shore by placing each person on a rescue board individually. The dive team then transported the family members through the water to a waiting rescue ship. The Los Angeles Times and several online newspapers in San Diego displayed a photo of the rescue effort from a distance. It showed officers preparing to assist people onto a rescue board in the shallow waters surrounding the grounded vessel.


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