Boat capsizes off Coronado; 5 rescued

SAN DIEGO - Harbor police and a civilian boater rescued five people, including three children, who were aboard a vessel that partially sank and then capsized on San Diego Bay Thursday afternoon, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

The federal maritime agency got a report about 3:30 p.m. that a 16-foot boat was taking on water roughly two miles south of the Coronado Bridge, USCG Petty Officer Connie Gawrelli said.

Natty Tsabari told 10News, "Something go wrong with water pump and water start to get into the boat and we start sinking. We see some nice guy; I don't know his name. I wish to see him again. I want to thank him again. Some fishing guy; he help us, took three kids on his boat."

The Coast Guard, Navy and San Diego Harbor Police sent rescue personnel the area. By the time they arrived, a boater who happened to be in the area had safely taken three children -- 2 boys and a girl -- off the disabled vessel, while two male adults remained aboard, trying to keep it from sinking, Gawrelli said.

Tsabari's 9-year-old son, Abraham, said, "When they called the police, then I started to cry because I thought I wasn't going to be safe at home. So now we're safe."

Tsabari and his brother-in-law had tried to bail the water with a bucket but weren't fast enough.

"Me and my brother-in-law tried to save the boat; we couldn't. The boat sank and we just jump to the water," Tsabari said.

A short time later, the swamped vessel capsized, sending the occupants into the bay. Officers with the harbor enforcement agency promptly rescued them.

No injuries were reported, according to Gawrelli.

"I was freaked out a little bit but now I'm all good; Thank God, everybody's healthy," Tsabari said.

All occupants were wearing life jackets.

A commercial salvage company was called in to tow the partially sunken boat back to a dock, she said.


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