Morro Bay Coast Guard crew rescues sailor knocked overboard

A rescue crew from the Coast Guard station in Morro Bay saved a sailor early Saturday who had fallen off his boat in heavy seas far off the coast of Port San Luis.

Petty Officer Chris Roulette said the crew was dispatched from Morro Bay around 1 a.m. on a report of a sailor who had been knocked off his 38-foot-long sailing boat, the Zeus, while in rough seas. The mishap occurred about 40 miles west of Port San Luis.

The sailor had tethered himself to his ship, and was able to scramble back onto the craft, said Roulette. But in the process of getting back on board, the man fractured his ankle.

He put out a distress call, and a lifeboat was sent from Morro Bay with a four-person crew, said Roulette.

It took the lifeboat more than two hours to get to the sailboat. Winds were gusting to 40 mph and swells were nearly 13 feet.

The Morro Bay crew towed the sailboat back to Port San Luis. The Harbor Patrol then transferred the man to paramedics, who took him to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

Anthony Turner, a public affairs officer with the Coast Guard's regional office in San Pedro, said his agency’s policy is not to release names of sailors who are rescued.

But Turner said the man was sailing from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.