In the midst of thick fog on the night of October 7th, a distress call was made to 911 regarding a collision between two boats off of Point Vicente. The call was made by a non-English speaking individual, making it difficult for responders to understand the exact situation. Despite the poor visibility, multiple rescue units, including the Redondo Beach Fire Department Harbor Patrol and the Coast Guard, were dispatched to search for the distressed vessel. Using radar and a modified Blackhawk Coast Guard helicopter, the rescue teams scoured the area, eventually locating a 25-foot recreational fishing boat with five injured men on board. The men were rescued and taken to nearby medical centers for treatment. It was later determined that the boat had likely collided with a container ship in the shipping lane.
The incident took place during lobster season, when fishing is often done at night. The heavy fog and lack of running lights on boats in the area may have contributed to the collision. The shipping lane in which the collision occurred is regularly used by large cargo ships, and it is estimated that three-to-five of these ships pass through the channel on any given night. The fog in the region can be unpredictable, with clear conditions on one side of Point Vicente and heavy fog on the other. The collision serves as a reminder of the dangers that can arise in such conditions and the importance of proper navigation and communication on the water.
Overall, the rescue operation was challenging for all involved due to the limited visibility and language barriers. The collaboration between the Redondo Beach Fire Department, the Coast Guard, and other rescue units was crucial in locating and rescuing the injured men. The incident highlights the need for increased awareness and caution when navigating in foggy conditions and emphasizes the importance of following safety guidelines, such as using running lights and being aware of shipping lanes.