28 rescued after yacht, sportfisher crash near southern border

The US Coast Guard rescued 28 people after a violent collision between a yacht and a sportfisher near the southern maritime border. (Photo: USCG)

SAN DIEGO — A yacht and a sportfisher collided offshore of Imperial Beach, and more than two dozen people had to be taken back to shore, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Saturday.

A person aboard the fishing boat had to be airlifted to a hospital, and the 27 others aboard both boats were taken back to San Diego.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Friday, the 332-foot yacht Attessa IV contacted Coast Guard Sector San Diego to report a collision with the Prowler, a 65-foot sportfisher, about nine miles off Imperial Beach, Coast Guard officials said. The collision caused multiple injuries and extensive damage to the starboard side of the Prowler.

A Jayhawk helicopter crew, a 45-foot response boat and the cutter Sea Otter all responded to assist, officials said.

Crews arrived by about 8:45 p.m. The helicopter crew hoisted a critically injured male passenger and airlifted him back to shore, where he was met by an ambulance and taken to UC San Diego Medical Center Hillcrest, according to the Coast Guard. The medevaced passenger later died at the hospital.

The response boat took another 17 passengers, including two who were also injured, from the Prowler, while the captain remained aboard waiting for commercial salvage. The Sea Otter stayed near the scene of the collision with the Prowler’s captain.

Ten people returned to San Diego aboard the Attessa IV, which was still seaworthy.

The cause of the collision was under investigation, Coast Guard officials said.