At approximately 4 PM,Monday afternoon, at Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma, San Diego
Bay, a Catalina 38
began emitting dense smoke while at its slip. Neighbors responded, opening up the companionway hatch
to sudden flames. The first responders were off-duty San Diego
firefighters who called Fire Department Dispatch, then accessed a nearby 1 1/2" dock
mounted firehose. The next wave of respondents activated another fire hose as support. Within minutes, the San Diego Harbor Police patrol boat arrived with a water
cannon, followed by four San Diego Fire Department trucks. Moments later, a second fireboat arrived, as well as Vessel Assist units. Club members, trained in emergency
response aided in containment of the rapidly growing blaze, limiting damage to the total loss of the one boat. Vessels on each side were protected by spraying water
AND NOT CUTTING THE BOATS FREE TO BLOCK FIREBOATS. News helicopters from two networks were in the air reporting the blaze and subsequent control.
Southwestern Yacht Club may be the only club or marina on the planet to have such preparations in place for immediate response. We had dewatering pumps at the ready to prevent the boat from sinking, pollution containment booms and pads ready to prevent ecological damage, trained liveaboards and the necessary equipment
for the emergency
. Further, we have oxygen and first aid kits on every dock
, emergency procedures manuals
available to members, automatic emergency defibrillators, and other emergency supplies and equipment
at the ready.
It was a textbook emergency response, a collaboration of first responders, trained emergency personnel, and the tools to do the job. It was also a disaster that was thwarted because folks took the time to prepare, to train, and to communicate with other resources. Other than the very sad loss to the owners of a beautiful sailboat, there were no other losses or injuries. Contact Southwestern Yacht Club if you would like access to their emergency preparedness program.