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Coast Guard, Navy Assist Damaged Charter Fishing Boat

An MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ross Ruddell)
An MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ross Ruddell)

Twenty passengers and five crew members from a charter fishing vessel based in San Pedro were safely returned to shore Sunday, March 19, after the boat struck a submerged object in the ocean and began taking on water off San Clemente Island.

The Coast Guard, the Navy and two Vessel Assist crews helped get the 63-foot charter boat Truline to Newport Beach Shipyard, the Coast Guard said in a statement. The passengers were returned to 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro, where the Saturday night fishing excursion had begun.

There were no reported injuries, the Coast Guard said.

The overnight charter had left San Pedro at around 8:15 p.m. Saturday and the boat was about 60 miles south -- a half-mile south of San Clemente Island -- shortly before 3 a.m. when it struck an unknown object.

"It's pretty rocky in that area," Coast Guard Petty Officer Rob Simpson said, although it wasn't known what the vessel hit.

Informed that the vessel was taking on water, the Coast Guard's San Diego sector dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, a 45-foot response boat and the Coast Guard cutter Sockeye, authorities said. A Navy ship operating in the area was diverted to the scene.

The Navy crew, arriving at 4:30 a.m., began to de-water the Truline and the Sockeye, arriving at 7 a.m., took over, able to keep up with the flooding while the Truline was escorted to Newport Beach, the statement said. Vessel Assist crews from Catalina Island and San Pedro assisted.

"We were able to keep up with the flooding," Simpson said.

At 8:30 a.m. the 20 passengers were transferred to the Sockeye, with five crew remaining on the Truline, the Coast Guard said. At 1:30 p.m. the Sockeye delivered the passengers to San Pedro and at 4:45 the Truline "was safely moored at the Newport Beach Shipyard," the Coast Guard reported.

"The good thing is, they were able to float her back into the harbor," said Alex Berlin, a reservations agent for the charters. "Everyone was safely dropped off by the Coast Guard ship."

He said the plan is to return Truline to service once repairs are completed. "That's what we are hoping for," he said.

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