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Stranded boaters found safe off San Pedro

November 15, 2010 | 10:35 am

Boaters A Long Beach couple stranded at sea overnight were found safe Monday off San Pedro by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Don Stone, 44, and his fiancé, Christianna Macauley, 31, were stuck at sea on their way back from Catalina after their 26-foot boat broke down, said Trent Kelly, a spokesman for the Coast Guard in Los Angeles.

The Coast Guard was notified about 3 p.m. Sunday that the couple’s boat, a type commonly used on lakes but rarely seen on coastal waterways, was possibly stranded at sea.

The Coast Guard, along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Baywatch Avalon lifeguards, began a search for the vessel. The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter and the cutter Blacktip, Kelly said.

The stranded boat was not equipped with a radio and could not communicate with rescue crews. The search continued unsuccessfully through the night, and the boat finally was spotted by a helicopter about 4:30 a.m. Monday.

The boaters were found in a mild state of hypothermia but were not injured other than being “a little exhausted,” Kelly said. The cutter took the couple and their disabled boat to the U.S. Coast Guard station in San Pedro.

The search probably would have been completed much sooner had the boat been equipped with a marine VHF radio and if the couple had chosen to use the flares they had on board. The search covered more than 1,100 miles of ocean, Kelly said.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo:  Christianna Macauley, 31, hugs her fiance, Don Stone, 44, on the dock of U.S. Coast Guard sector Los Angeles after being rescued early Monday morning. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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