Paintmaker

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Paintmaker (#) (-1991), cabin cruiser that grounded and sank at Santa Cruz Island on January 21, 1991. All twelve aboard were rescued.




In the News~

January 22, 1991 [LAT]: “12 rescued from Santa Cruz Island after boat runs aground in storm. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter team rescued a dozen people early Monday after their boat ran aground off Santa Cruz Island during a thunder and lightening storm that struck the Ventura County coast. The overnight storm dropped little rain, but spawned brilliant lightening flashes and rolling thunder that awakened scores of county residents.... Coast Guard officials received an urgent distress call at 2:18 a.m. from the Paintmaker, a 42-foot cabin cruiser that crashed onto a 10-by-100-foot rock about a quarter of a mile off Santa Cruz Island. THe ship's captain, Larry DeDonato of Delano, tried to anchor the boat in 12-foot swells off the island's coast, but the anchor apparently would not hold. Susie Rodriguez of McFarland, who was on the boat, said the group had set out from Channel Islands Harbor on Sunday for a day of scuba diving and then anchored off Santa Cruz Island for the night. The weather turned bad about midnight, she said, and eventually tossed the boat onto the rocks. "We didn't stay on very long after it hit," said Rodriguez, 37, who was traveling with friends from northern Kern COunty. "The boat was rocking violently back and forth. We were lucky we could step off into land." as the craft took on water, its occupants — seven adults and five children — donned wet suits and life jackets and scrambled onto the rocks, huddling together in a cove to avoid the crashing surf and 30 m.p.h. winds while awaiting rescue. Lt. James Hasselman, the helicopter pilot, said a storm pocket was dropping such heavy rains that he could not see the stranded boaters as his craft hovered 15 feet above them. Coast Guard Petty Officer Thomas M. Smylie, a rescue swimmer and paramedic, was lowered onto the rocks in a basket when the helicopter arrived at 3:30 a.m. from its Los Angeles base. The boat was still lodged on one of rocks with a gaping hole in its hull, he said. "It looked like the S.S. Minnow on Gilligan's Island," said Smylie, whose crew took the stranded boaters to a waiting Coast Guard boat dispatched from the Channel Islands staion. "They were safe, but they were all cold and scared, real scared."”