Here's a great story from Arnstein over at San Francisco Sailing.
"Darwin's Law Circumvented by USCG"
Last Thursday we were doing the California Bash up from San Diego approximately 10nm off Carmel. While monitoring ch. 16 I heard a vessel doing long counts to ten for a USCG helicopter. The skipper was saying, "ONE...TWO...THREE…" etc. They repeated this three times over the course of about 20 minutes. I figured that the helo was trying to home in on their location using RDF. This sounded like some kind of emergency so I stayed tuned.
After a few more minutes I discovered that the sailing vessel Celcion (Celcion is Latin for "are we there yet") was lost and that the helo was on its way to lend assistance. Upon finding the desperately lost voyager the helo then hovered overhead in order to provide the adventurous captain with his lat/long position. The coordinates were repeated several times due to mis-something. The skipper then asked where he was. The USCG helo said "you're six miles from Monterey." The skipper mumbled something about wanting to go to Half Moon Bay and "could you point me in the right direction, and I think I have a "map" of Monterey someplace". The helo pilot was not about to give this guy directions, and wisely so. He strongly urged the captain to seek an escort into Monterey for the evening (sunset was another two hours away). The skipper accepted even though he was a wee bit embarrassed at this point.
The pilot contacted USCG Monterey and requested a rescue boat be dispatched to the scene. I being only about 8nm away also offered my assistance. The pilot asked if we could steam towards Celcion's position and act as another asset if needed. We agreed to do what we could.
About 45 minutes later the USCG rescue boat arrived. We were now 3nm away from Celcion. Communication between the coasties and the skipper were a little confused. The coasties asked several times if he or his crew had suffered any injuries. The skipper finally understood and said "Only my pride". Eventually the coasties escorted this rather fortunate skipper and his crew into Monterey for the evening while we went back to bashing up the coast.
It appears that the skipper of the Celcion left SF Bay for a trip to Half Moon Bay and wound up near Monterey totally lost and confused. I wonder if this is how Gilligan's Island started?
1.5 Hours of USCG Helicopter flight time = $20,000 3 Hours of USCG rescue boat time = $5,000 Spending an unexpected weekend in Monterey with the help of US taxpayers and the Coast Guard = PRICELESS
I'm always amazed by the wine and cheese crowd. Guys, bang the rocks together. Jump up and down. Do the hokie pokie and take a class in offshore sailing.