San Rafael, CA – March 28, 2013. The new San Rafael Police rescue boat handled it’s first distress call this past weekend and demonstrated it's capabilities in responding to emergency calls when just minutes count.
On Sunday afternoon, March 24th Officers Mark Hedeen and Bob Henkle were training on Rescue 2 in the San Rafael Channel. About 2 p.m. a Mayday call was transmitted by a boater in San Pablo Bay. He reported his location as just west of the Brother Islands but did not describe the nature of the emergency. The Mayday call was repeated once and then no further transmissions were made. The unknown nature of the distress call prompted a response from U. S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco and USCG Station Vallejo, who were both launching their rescue boats. Rescue 2 was closer and able to respond to the reported location within a few minutes. The officers located the vessel, a power boat, and determined that there was no immediate emergency. The boat had engine failure and was eventually towed to the Loch Lomond Harbor.
Last year SRPD received a $65,000 grant from the California Department of Boating and Waterways to purchase a small rescue boat in order to supplement the services provided by the Department’s Marine Unit. Rescue 2 will be able to provide a quick response to rescue incidents when the larger Mission City is not in operation. The Rigid Hull Rescue Boat is a versatile craft that can respond rapidly, maneuver in tight quarters, and is ideal for rescue situations. The boat is easily transported by trailer and can be available to assist other public safety agencies on short notice. The 22-foot Rogue Jet Fastwater was purchased from Rogue Jet Boat Works in Oregon and the grant paid the total cost of both the boat and trailer.