The U.S. Coast Guard recovered a lost sailboat and two sailors from the Channel Islands yesterday morning after getting a little help from the seamen themselves.
Jesse Hunt, 36, and Robyn Ledenbach, 26, departed from Goleta Beach on Saturday afternoon for a fishing trip but had not returned by Sunday as expected. The pair was reported missing by their families this morning at 8:30 a.m
Hunt and Ledenbach were found around 11:25 a.m. after using their cell phones to call their families and give additional information about their location.
According to U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Ana Thorsson, the problem mostly lay in miscommunication.
“As it turns out, they had anchored longer than expected,” Thorsson said. “They stayed the night and called when they got into cell phone range.”
According to Thorsson, the sailors were able the evade the Coast Guard, which included two helicopters and an 87 ft. patrol boat between Goleta Beach and Santa Cruz Island.
“We actually had been calling for them on the radio and had been conducting an extensive search,” Thorsson said.
While the fishermen were never in real danger, Thorsson said the episode serves as a good example of how to practice safe sailing.
“We really stress that people have a working marine radio and everyone be informed how to operate it,” Thorsson said. “Whatever they had on board was not equipped to call us. Their family could have slept a lot better last night, had they been properly equipped.”