On Nov. 3, at 7:32 p.m., Santa Monica Police Department Pier and Harbor Services Officers (PHSOs) monitored a “Mayday” call on a marine radio frequency. The owner and solo occupant of the 24’ powerboat reported being lost in dense fog near the southern end of the Santa Monica city limits and in danger of running aground in the surf break.

The PHSOs immediately responded from the Pier on the Monica-1, a 30’ Seaway Rescue Boat that carries an array of equipment to mitigate hazards at the pier, nearshore, the open ocean, and underwater. The vessel is also outfitted with electronic navigational equipment including radar, GPS/Plotter, Depth Finder, and a radio directional finder to assist in search and rescue missions in limited visibility.

The PHSOs established radio communications with the vessel, United States Coast Guard, and LA County Lifeguards. The dense fog limited visibility to approximately 30 feet, requiring the PHSOs to navigate entirely on instruments. PHSOs, with assistance of officers from the Downtown Services Unit, located the ship near the 3000 block of the beach, almost in the surf zone. They escorted the vessel through the persistent heavy fog to the entrance of Marina del Rey where the escort was transferred to the LA County Lifeguard Baywatch boat and safely returned inside of the marina.

Submitted by Sergeant Erika Aklufi