SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - A man died after falling over the side of a sailing boat near the coast of Point Conception Sunday afternoon.
The US Coast Guard responded to the call around 2:20 p.m. Crews said their Los Angeles Command Center received a mayday broadcast from a 27-foot catamaran stating that a 67-year-old man had fallen overboard. The man's wife was the only one left on the boat.
The Coast Guard immediately dispatched Helicopter 6604 from the naval base in Ventura County and requested assistance from Santa Barbara County Air Support Copter 3, a County Fire water rescue team and a small boat from the Coast Guard small boat station in Morro Bay.
The first unit on scene was Helicopter 6604 which successfully located the man face down in the water about one mile off the coast of Jalama Beach.
The helicopter deployed a rescue swimmer who hoisted the man into the helicopter and transported him to the Santa Barbara Airport where an ambulance was waiting. Unfortunately, he was declared dead at the scene by Santa Barbara County Fire medics.
While this was happening, the man's wife was reportedly attempting to stay out of bad weather and accidentally ran the sailing boat aground at Jalama Beach.
Coast Guard Helicopter 6604 returned to the beach from Santa Barbara to assist her. The rescue swimmer was deployed again and brought the woman from the boat into the helicopter. She was also transported to Santa Barbara Airport where she was checked for injuries by first responders.
As of 6 p.m., the sailing boat remained at Jalama Beach. A vessel assist from Ventura will be handling the tow and salvage of the boat.
The Coast Guard said there are no pollution concerns at this time.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.