SACRAMENTO DELTA (BCN) – Two jet skiers were rescued from Frank’s Tract in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta early Monday morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The two adults that were saved from the water near Bethel Island were not injured when they were lost in the open waters of the Delta after their jet skis became disabled, Chief Petty Officer Donald Newton said.
The Coast Guard received a call at 2:12 a.m. from a friend of the stranded jet skiers, Newton said. One of the stranded pair had apparently called their friend from a cell phone and the friend went on to contact the Coast Guard, Newton said.
The people had gotten stuck in the water when seaweed was sucked into the engines of their jet skis, disabling them, Newton said.
After about half an hour, the Coast Guard was able to contact the lost jet skiers – one man and one woman – on the cell phone and they were instructed to call 911 so they operators there could establish the jet skiers’ location, Newton said.
“The hard part we had initially was trying to determine their location,” Newton said. “They were disoriented and didn’t know where they were, and we didn’t have a frame of reference to locate them.”
At about 2:45 a.m., the stranded jet skiers were determined to be just off of the northeast side of Bethel Island, which is northeast of Oakley, Newton said.
The Rio Vista Coast Guard station collaborated with the Oakley Police Department and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office to rescue the stranded people, Newton said.
When authorities arrived in the Delta, the jet skiers were able to paddle to the shore of Bethel Island, and police helped vector a small Coast Guard boat onto the island to meet the pair there at about 3:20 a.m., Newton said.
Two emergency medical technicians from the rescue boat examined the jet skiers on Bethel Island and found they were not injured, Newton said.
Both people were quite cold, but warmed up quickly after being given blankets and were determined not to have hypothermia, Newton said.
As of 4 a.m. the jet skiers were still being interviewed and transportation was being arranged for them to Lauritzen Yacht Harbor in Oakley, where the jet skiers were keeping their vehicle, Newton said. Their disabled jet skis were being towed by a commercial vessel, he said.
It is unclear why the people were jet skiing in the Delta so early in the morning. Newton said the Coast Guard had originally thought they rented the jet skis, but local renters could not confirm that and it is now believed that the pair own the jet skis.
The ages of the jet skiers were not immediately available. Newton said they may have been from the San Jose area, but could not confirm their city of residence.
One of the most common types of calls to the Coast Guard is for disabled marine vehicles, Newton said, either due to mechanical failure, lack of gas, or running aground. It is also not uncommon to receive calls about lost mariners, especially in the Delta, he said.
“The Delta’s huge,” he said. “Everything looks the same, the water looks the same. It’s very easy to get disoriented out there.”