Coast Guard calls off search after finding no signs of a boat reported in trouble off Port San Luis

newsroom@thetribunenews.comApril 19, 2014 

UPDATE 6:55 P.M. A multi-agency search for a boat reported to be in distress of Port San Luis was called off at 6:20 p.m. after the Coast Guard determined that no boat was in trouble.

Coast Guard spokesman Sandy Needle said a woman visiting the Point San Luis Lighthouse reported at about 3:40 p.m. Saturday that she saw what appeared to be a sailboat that had heeled over and then was unable to right itself about a mile and a half from shore.

"She thought it was a sailboat unable to right itself," Needle said, "or it may have been a whitecap" in the wind-tossed waves.

"We take all calls seriously, so we launched a full search," Needle said.

Search boats were sent out by the Coast Guard in Morro Bay, Port San Luis Harbor Patrol, and Cal Fire. The California Highway Patrol dispatched a helicopter, which was later diverted to another call so a Coast Guard helicopter from Los Angeles then joined the search, Needle said.

"We were unable to locate a vessel in distress," he said. "And there are no overdue boats out of Port San Luis or Morro Bay." 

UPDATE 5:50 P.M. Rescuers are still searching and have not found a boat reportedly in distress or capsized about a mile and a half off Port San Luis, Cal Fire Capt. Brent Lee said. Cal Fire, Port San Luis Harbor Patrol and the Coast Guard are all searching for the boat, he said.

Lee said Cal Fire was notified of the problem by the Coast Guard. He said the original call about a boat in trouble may have come from a person on shore, although he was not sure.

UPDATE 4:40 P.M.: The Coast Guard, Port San Luis Harbor Patrol and firefighters have all responded to a report of a boat capsized or in distress off Port San Luis. A CHP dispatcher confirmed that the agency's helicopter is also involved in the rescue.
ORIGINAL STORY 3:55 P.M.: Emergency responders were headed to a capsized boat one and a half miles offshore from the lighthouse at Port San Luis at 3:50 p.m.. No details were immediately known but information will be posted as it becomes available.  

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