M/Y Going Coastal Sinks in California

5 May 2020

On April 30, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) responded to a report of 92-foot M/Y Going Coastal taking on water about 35 miles south of Monterey, California, at approximately 11:45 a.m., the USCG press release says. A Coast Guard Station Monterey 45-foot response boat crew was dispatched, and a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Dolphin helicopter crew were sent to assist.

Then Going Coastal’s crew told them the flooding was under control, so the Coast Guard canceled the helicopter crew. The response boat crew arrived at approximately 1:30 p.m. and assessed the situation. They transferred a crewmember and dewatering pump to the yacht and began escorting her toward Monterey Bay.

A couple hours into these efforts around 3:45 p.m., the flooding rate increased, so a Dolphin helicopter crew was called for assistance. They arrived at around 4:55 p.m. and deployed a rescue swimmer and a second dewatering pump to the yacht. In a video interview, USCG Air Station San Francisco Pilot CDR Blake McKinney says, at that point most of the bottom decks were all filled with water and she was beginning to list. About 10 minutes after the Dolphin crew began dewatering, he says the first engine quit.

The boat was traveling at about 2.5 knots and the water pump was barely keeping up with the flooding when it became more severe, and while USCG Air Station San Francisco Rescue Swimmer Petty Officer First Class Michael Von Bormann was getting ready to get the second pump, the second engine gave out.

So at about 5:20 p.m., Going Coastal had lost electrical and engine power, and the flooding rate continued to increase. At which point, the decision was made to abandon ship, and the Coast Guard rescued the two Going Coastal crewmembers before the vessel sank, approximately nine miles south of Monterey Bay. There were no reported injuries among the crew.

“Conditions were somewhat rough, probably about seven-foot seas offshore, so the boat was moving around a lot. But it’s really something we train for all the time here at the Air Station,” McKinney says. “We take all the precautions we can.”

The press release says, “The owner of the yacht reported the vessel had around 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel aboard and is working with his insurance company to salvage the vessel.”

An overflight was conducted by a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew on the morning of May 1. According to a USCG press release, the crew found no visible signs of pollution and debris and the vessel’s life raft was all that was visible.

Photo by Seaman Ryan Estrada, courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard