San Diego Heroes Honored For Miraculous LIfesaving Rescue at Sea

Photo Credit: Courtesy of San Diego Port Tenants Association

San Diego Heroes Honored For Miraculous LIfesaving Rescue at Sea

by San Diego Port Tenants Association
(619) 223-1627

Sportfishing vessel saves 25 people adrift at sea for three days

(San Diego, CA): At Wednesday night’s San Diego Port Tenants Association 32nd Anniversary Dinner, the United States Coast Guard honored the captain and crew of the passenger sportfishing vessel the New Lo-An for their miraculously rescue of 25 migrants adrift at sea. 

Captain Tim Barelli, Sector Commander, United States Coast Guard (USGC) sector San Diego, surprised more than 500 guests at the San Diego Port Tenants Association (SDPTA) 32nd Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday night by honoring the sportfishing heroes for their quick thinking when they spotted a small boat tossing about in high seas, 95 miles off the coast of San Diego.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on October 22, the San Diego based commercial sportfishing boat, the New Lo-An, was out for bluefin tuna fishing when Captain Markus Medak spotted 25 people adrift on a panga boat intended for two to four people.  The panga had been adrift for three days without food, water or life jackets and time was running out. 

Captain Medak and crew placed a distress call for help, evaluated the risky conditions and tossed the panga a line and basic provisions, then waited close by for more help to arrive.  The U. S. Coast Guard San Diego sector responded to the scene in a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, then completed the rescue with a C-27 aircraft and the cutter Tern. 

USGC Captain Barelli bestowed a Certificate of Appreciation from the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard to Captain Medak at the SDPTA Anniversary dinner attended by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Port of San Diego Commissioners, and numerous elected officials.  

Captain Medak accepted on behalf of the crew of the New Lo-An and thanked the U.S. Coast Guard. “We are grateful we were in the right place at the right time with the right experience to be able to help,” Medak said. “Sportfishing is our livelihood and our passion, teaches us all respect for the ocean. We appreciate the U. S. Coast Guard for this recognition and for the work they do to keep us all safe in the ocean.”

SDPTA is proud of San Diego’s passenger sportfishing industry which comprises half of California’s fleet and is made up of small, family-owned boat operations. Passenger sportfishing  makes the ocean accessible to the public, engage adults and youth in learning about stewardship of our marine environment. 

“We are so pleased to honor these heroes,” said John Laun, Chair of SDPTA.  “Sportfishing is a part of the fabric of our community, and these folks give back in many ways.  Every year the sportfishing industry hosts thousands of kids from underserved communities to experience their first outing on the ocean, it’s who they are.”

New Lo-An

Captain Markus Medak
Point Loma Sportfishing
San Diego, CA

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