Rescue on salmon season opening day
Lots of salmon was landed, and two men and a boy stranded at sea overnight were rescued by the Coast Guard on Sunday, the day after the recreational salmon season opened. The opening day coincided with the tall ships’ visit to the harbor as part of the celebration or the 200th anniversary of Russian settlers landing in Bodega Bay. Both events drew large crowds on Saturday, leading to parking problems a heavy traffic.
According to Noah Wagner, anglers came in with fish up to 22 pounds and reported there were “lots of fish out there,” which bodes well for the upcoming commercial salmon season that will open May 1.
On Saturday, two men and a seven year old boy from Windsor set out to catch their share of salmon in a 14-foot Zodiak craft. The boat broke down and the electrical system malfunctioned, so the men could not radio for help. When the trio did not come back as expected Saturday night, the family reported them missing to the Coast Guard.
Bodega Bay Coast Guard Station then conducted a trailer search in the nearby parking lots, and when they found the group’s empty trailer, they knew they were at sea and sent for a helicopter from San Francisco. The helicopter spotted their boat off of Point Reyes on Sunday morning and sent out a motor vessel to tow it back to port.
The weather had dipped into the 40s overnight, and the three had hypothermia. The rescue boat took them on board to warm and dry them. All were fine, according to the Coast Guard at Bodega Bay, and the USCG towed their Zodiac back to Noyo Harbor.