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14 rescued after boat hits rock and sinks in Channel Islands

Anthony DeWitt

Passengers and crew were able to safely get off of the sinking vessel which went down off of Santa Cruz Island.

It was a dramatic early morning rescue in the Channel Islands. A charter boat with 14 people hit a rock off of Santa Cruz Island, and sank.

The passenger boat Sea Jay was off of Santa Cruz Island when it hit a rock at around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. The captain radioed that the boat was taking on water, and they were abandoning ship. The 10 passengers, and four crew members were able to get into a life raft.

The Coast Guard deployed a boat, and a helicopter. But a nearby vessel, the Sea Biscuit, heard the SOS call, and got to the scene first, taking the survivors on board. Coast Guard, and State Fish and Game boats then arrived, and took the 14 people to shore.

The Sea Jay is fully submerged, but anchored where it sank. There’s a small oil sheen from the boat’s engine. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident, and working with other agencies on cleanup plans.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.