Stranded South Bay Boater Airlifted To Safety

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Alviso: Mallard Slough & Environmental Education Center (baytrail.abag.ca.gov)

Alviso: Mallard Slough & Environmental Education Center (baytrail.abag.ca.gov)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A boater who went out duck hunting Tuesday and got stuck overnight several miles from San Jose’s Alviso Marina was found cold but in good condition Wednesday morning.

The 30-year-old man had headed out on a flat-bottom fiberglass boat with an outboard motor at about 8 a.m. Tuesday, fire Capt. Anthony Melendrez said.

The man lives with his grandparents in San Jose, and his grandfather called police at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday when the man failed to return home, according to Melendrez.

Authorities headed to the area and found the man’s car, then began a search for him, calling in a sheriff’s helicopter and San Jose Fire Department rescuers.

The helicopter had a mechanical problem during the search, and a Coast Guard helicopter was requested, Melendrez said. When the Coast Guard helicopter also had a mechanical problem, rescuers contacted the Calstar, the nonprofit air ambulance service, which sent a helicopter and crew.

“While they were searching, they heard some gunshots, so we knew he was out there,” Melendrez said.

The Calstar crew found the man shortly after 4:30 a.m. in a marshy area about three and a half miles from the marina, he said.

Melendrez said the tide was so low the man’s boat was not floating in the water.

The man was airlifted to the parking lot of the marina, where he was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Melendrez said the man is a veteran of the Afghanistan War and earned two Purple Hearts. He said temperatures overnight were in the 30s, and that the man didn’t have a cellphone with him.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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