Alyssa Morin

Redondo Beach lifeguards save man from capsized sailboat

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Photo of Monday’s capsized sailboat by onlooker James Lee.

Photo of Monday’s capsized sailboat by onlooker James Lee.

Monday afternoon a 30-foot sailboat crashed into the west side of the Redondo Harbor breakwater, causing the boat to capsize and requiring a speedy rescue of the man onboard.

At approximately 1 p.m., Los Angeles County lifeguards noticed the sailboat veering into the breakwater. Lifeguard Section Chief Terry Yamamoto responded along with Baywatch rescue boat lifeguards Abby Balderas and Jonas Russell.

“It was a pretty tough rescue,” Yamamoto said. “If the man onboard had tried to jump off the boat without us there, he would have been crushed between the rocks and the sailboat.”

It is still uncertain what caused the boat to crash, and the rescued man’s identity has not been released. He was transferred into the care of Harbor Patrol after the incident.

After the man’s safety was established, the lifeguards had the additional task of dealing with the capsized sailboat.

“We had to move the boat because it was in navigational waters,” said Yamamoto. “We hooked up the tow rope and attempted to get the boat out of the harbor. Unfortunately, it could not withstand the damage it had suffered and it sank.”

Though Yamamoto was disappointed that the boat was unable to be retrieved from the water, he stressed that it was at least out of harm’s way.

“It was no longer in navigational waters,” he said. “And, if it had ended up in the harbor, we would have had to close the harbor down.”

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