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Coast Guard, San Diego Harbor Patrol search for boat in trouble off coast

December 29, 2010 |  8:24 pm

The U.S. Coast Guard and San Diego Harbor Patrol are searching for a 20-foot boat with four people aboard reportedly in trouble about a mile from Point Loma, officials said Wednesday night.

The Coast Guard received a call about 5 p.m. from a "vessel assist'' service that relays calls for help from boats. The call said a craft with one adult and three children aboard needed help.

The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter and two boats, and the Harbor Patrol dispatched a boat for the search. By 8 p.m. no sign of a troubled boat could be found.

The area is being whipped by 30-knot winds and 6-foot seas. Both wind speed and the state of the sea are forecast to worsen during the night.

Civilian craft are not required to check in with the Coast Guard before venturing into the ocean, so it's possible the boat has returned to a harbor under its own power.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

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