Coast Guard Transporting Injured Crewmembers to Shore

Yacht ran into trouble after being struck by Saturday's swell west of San Francisco.

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday morning was transporting two injured crewmembers from the "Geraldton Western Australia" yacht to Coast Guard Island in Alameda as the damaged ship trailed behind.

The 68-foot yacht, which had a British and Australian crew of 13, was competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race on Saturday morning when it was struck by a large swell about 400 miles west of San Francisco, Coast Guard officials said.

The wave swept away the ship's steering wheel and mounting along with some of its communications equipment, according to race officials.

Four of the crew members were wounded. The Coast Guard cutter Bertholf picked up two of the injured crewmembers sometime before 9 a.m. Sunday after attempts to airlift them were thwarted by the weather. Those two crewmembers, a man and a woman, are reported to be in stable condition after suffering suspected broken ribs, a possible punctured lung and possible pelvic and back injuries.

The injured crewmembers are expected to arrive at Coast Guard Island around Monday afternoon, and will then be transported to a hospital, race spokeswoman Isabel Hokken said.

The other two injured crewmembers decided to stay onboard the yacht to assist the rest of the crew in bringing the ship into port in Oakland.

The Geraldton is expected to arrive sometime early Tuesday morning, Hokken said.

— Bay City News

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