Lindy Jane

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Lindy Jane (#) (-1997) sank off San Nicolas Island. All three aboard the vessel, who were Vietnamese fishermen, were drowned: boat owner Moui "Timmy" Duong, 36, of Los Angeles; his brother Tam Duong, 29; and San Nguyen.



In the News~

April 17, 1997 [Ukiah Daily Journal]: “Coat Guard rescues three from sunken boat. San Nicolas Island—U.S. Coast Guard helicopters and boats rescued three people forced into cold waters off San Nicolas Island after their fishing vessel sank, authorities said. All three were apparently alive but could not immediately be removed from the water because the helicopter that located them was running low on fuel, said Petty Officer Jamie Devitt. One person was unconscious and was given CPR en route to Torrance Memorial Hospital, Devitt said. She did not know the condition of the other two, but they were to be taken to the same hospital. The operator of the 36-foot bot Windly Lee [sic], Pan Duong, sent a distress call to the Coast Guard at 3:25 a.m., saying it was sinking seven miles north of San Nicolas Island and they were going into the water, said Petty Officer Chuck Allen. The first aircraft arrived at 4:38 a.m. but had mechanical difficulties and had to leave the scene. Another helicopter arrived at 5:17 a.m. All three people entered the water with life jackets, but little other survival gear — just a flashlight with weak batteries, Allen said. The skies were relatively clear and searchers had 10- to 12-mile visibility over the area with only scattered clouds, but hypothermia was a concern because of the cold temperatures.“They don't have much survival gear,” Allen said. “We better get them pretty quick... It could be a hypothermic situation with cold water.” Three Coast Guard helicopters and an 82-foot patrol bot led the search, said Petty Officer Mark Jensen. To vessels in the area — the research boat Jordan and a tug named the Diane Foss — were also joining in the search, Allen said. San Nicolas Island is 80 miles southwest of San Pedro.”


April 18, 1997 [LAT]: Three Ventura County men were found dead after spending up to six hours in the Pacific Ocean when their Ventura-based commercial fishing boat sank off San Nicolas Island early Thursday. Crew members of the Lindy Jane were fishing for rockfish seven miles west of the island when the boat began to take on water. At 3:30 a.m., crew member Tam Duong, 29, of Oxnard put out a distress call via marine radio that was picked up by the Coast Guard in Long Beach, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Dan Tremper. Twenty minutes later, as the boat was about to sink into the 3,000-foot depths, Duong sent his last call: The crew members had put on life jackets and were about to go into the water. The Coast Guard launched a helicopter from San Diego about 3:45 a.m., and another from Los Angeles International Airport at 4:05 a.m. Both choppers arrived at the scene, 80 miles southwest of San Pedro, about 4:35 a.m. However, they were unable to find the men in foggy and dark conditions. Thirty minutes into the search, the chopper from Los Angeles made an emergency landing on the island when a warning light went on, said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Ed Greiner. What turned out to be a malfunctioning warning light delayed the crew for about two hours. That helicopter then rejoined the search, but the crew did not spot the fishermen until about 9:35 a.m., 20 miles west of the island. All three were floating face-down. "There were no signs of life," Greiner said. Two of the men wore life jackets over casual clothing. The third was partly clad in a survival suit, and was not wearing a life jacket, he said. They were pronounced dead about noon at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. The victims were identified by boat owner Moui "Timmy" Duong, 36, of Los Angeles, as his brother Tam, and Vietnamese nationals San Nguyen and Tan Le. He did not know the ages of the other crew members. "I feel really bad about this," Timmy Duong said Thursday afternoon. He, his father, Nam Duong of Oxnard, and his brother's girlfriend, 21-year-old Thu Hoang, gathered at Timmy Duong's house in Los Angeles. This was the first trip of the month for the Lindy Jane. Timmy Duong said the crew had set sail at 4 p.m. Tuesday from Ventura Harbor. Last week, the boat underwent transmission repairs and the drive shaft was replaced. "The area of the drive shaft where the water could get in was not leaking. If it did leak right there, the leak should have been slow. It would have been [more than] 20 minutes before the boat was all the way down in the water," Timmy Duong said. He thinks the boat, which he valued at $10,000, likely went down after striking rocks, and the crew probably drifted while rescuers conducted their search. "That's what I think in my mind, that they hit some rocks about six miles off the shore," he said. Officials said the boat's transponder sent out a signal intended to aid in the search. But soon after, the signal died. Hours later, the signal began again. "I don't know why it took hours for them to get there. The signal was there and the Coast Guard should have known exactly where it was," said Timmy Duong. However, Coast Guard officials said the malfunction hampered the search. "The hours that it was not signaling is when most of the searching took place," Greiner said. Dr. Franklin Pratt, co-director of the Torrance Memorial Medical Center Emergency Medical Unit, said the water temperature, estimated to be in the 50s, and the time in the water led to the deaths.


May 13, 1997 [LAT]: “Faulty Radio Cited in Men's Drowning. A glitch in a radio transmitter caused rescuers to lose valuable time in locating a fishing boat that recently sank in the Pacific Ocean off San Nicolas Island, leading to the drowning of three men, Coast Guard officials said Monday. The boat may have been located within 20 minutes and its three-member crew saved had their ship's emergency radio functioned properly, said Coast Guard Lt. Kathy Moore, the chief investigator in the April 17 sinking of the Lindy Jane.”