San Diego: A sailor died and five others were rescued after abandoning a racing boat that lost its steering capability and drifted to an island off Southern California, where it was broken apart by crashing waves.
The Coast Guard says the crew issued a mayday call last night after the 9-metre sailboat`s rudder failed and the craft began drifting toward the rocky shore of San Clemente Island.
Petty Officer Connie Gawrelli says the crew declined assistance from the Coast Guard and requested a tow boat. However, rough seas kept that boat from reaching them.
An organiser of the Islands Race says the crew encountered more bad luck when attempts to deploy a life raft and anchor the boat failed.
Gawrelli said the accident occurred amid 2.4-metre swells and strong winds.