This Saturday 7-2-16 at 1:30am we responded to a distress call of a vessel taking on water off of La Jolla. We had 300' of anchor line out and we were making bait for chasing tuna. By the time we got the anchor in and cleared all lines the boat in distress was charging straight at us blasting an air horn and screaming for help.
3 men were on board and were freaking out. We asked them where the water was entering the hull and they said they couldn't figure it out. We ran down a list of other things to look for but he said they had already checked everything we suggested. We instructed them to pull the plug, gun the throttle and we would follow to assist. The owner striped down, jumped in and failed to pull the plug, "no life vest" At this point the water was half way up the engine cowling and just below transom.
The captain gets back in the boat and asks me to tie off to his boat and tow him in. I tell him no way, that's not going to happen as that would put my crew and I at risk of also sinking. Less than a minute latter water starts poring over the transom and the boat quickly starts going down. We are yelling at them to get away from the boat but they all hang on to the boat until the bow goes straight up and rolls over.
The captain bails and swims over to us leaving his father in the water flailing around with a half on life jacket. By the time the father got close enough for me to grab his hand he was going under and choking on water. He wouldn't have made it another 5'.
At this point we realized the 3rd person is nowhere to be seen and the captain is screaming his name out. He finally pops up next to the sinking boat and manages to swim over to us. I don't believe he would have Made it much longer as well. We get them all on board and wrapped them in blankets. I jumped on Ch16 and informed them that all three occupants had been pulled from the water and were safe. 30 minutes later a life guard boat met up with us and we transferred the men to the life guard boat.
Lessons learned from this shit show.
Make sure you know your boat inside and out and are able to trouble shoot and deal with water entering the hull.
If you are going to take people out on your boat that are old, out of shape and can barely swim. Make sure they have a proper fitting life jacket and wear the frigging thing.
Last but not least. There were at least 7 other boats in the area on the hook making bait and fishing. not one of those boats responded to the distress calls that the sinking boat was making on 72 or 16. nada, zip zilch!
Not a single offer to assist or help these guys.
Make sure you have your shit together boys.
You truly are on your own out there...
Your a Good Man, SOLID-