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SoCal 300: Coast Guard medevacs injured sailors off two different yachts racing from Santa Barbara t

SAN FRANCISCO (#1027) – On Thursday evening a Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a 31-year-old man from BRETWALDA3, a Rogers 46 out of Waikiki YC owned by Bob Pethick when it was south of Santa Cruz Island. In a separate incident, early Friday morning the Coast Guard medevaced a 48-year-old woman from Jim Puckett's AMAZING GRACE, a custom Farr 57 out of California YC (Marina del Rey), when it was approximately 70 miles west of San Clemente Island.

Both yachts were racing in the SoCal 300 that started off Santa Barbara Thursday afternoon headed for San Diego. The SoCal 300 is one of three events that comprise the 2018 California Offshore Week.

From the Coast Guard's report published on the BRETWEALDA3 incident:

At approximately 6:55 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a conversation via VHF channel 16 about an injured 32-year-old man aboard the 46-foot sailboat Brett Walda.

A Brett Walda crewmember reported that the man sustained a leg injury after a line wrapped around his leg leaving it with no pulse.

After consulting with a duty flight surgeon, watchstanders dispatched a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operating Base Mugu MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to medevac the man. Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor also launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew to assist.

The Dolphin crew arrived on scene, hoisted the man and transported him to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks where he was last reported in stable condition.

The USCG's report from the AMAZING GRACE incident Friday morning:

At approximately 2:15 a.m. Friday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Diego’s Joint Harbor Operations Center received a report from the crew of the 54-foot sailing vessel Amazing Grace requesting assistance after a female onboard had suffered a head injury from the the vessel’s boom.

A Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched to assist. Due to the distance from shore, a Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27 Spartan aircraft also launched to provide radio coverage.

At 4:39 a.m.,the Jayhawk crew arrived on scene and hoisted the woman aboard the helicopter. At 6:30 a.m., she arrived at Scripps Memorial Hospital, in La Jolla.

Weather on scene was eight-foot seas and 10-knot winds.

This morning San Diego Yacht Club's Waterfront Director, Jeff Johnson, who is one of the CORW event coordinators, promptly provided your Ed. with this additional information via email:


We have been in contact with each of the injured sailors shore contacts. We have been only basically briefed by those contacts on their condition shortly after being admitted to the hospital.

We know both competitors have undergone surgeries to address their injuries, and are stable.

We have heard the following from Erin Gatling, wife of BRETWALDA3's injured crew Casey Schilling:

"We’re both in good spirits and Casey seems to be improving with each half day. He’s having a little less pain and a bit more feeling. The nerve doctor did an MRI last night but we do not have the results. His knee and everything above the knee works well, everything below the knee, ankle and foot, is what’s not activating properly. However, he just moved his big toe ever so slightly! Super exciting and motivating. He will be fitted with a custom foot brace today to wear for the foreseeable future to hold his foot up while he learns how to walk again until he regains control of those muscles."

We have not heard an update from the AMAZING GRACE crew's contacts. Her head injury will take some considerable time to fully resolve. Her current condition is unknown beyond initial report of 'stable', nor do we know prognosis.

Our thoughts are with the injured sailors as well as the families and entire crew of both AMAZING GRACE and BRETWALDA3.


Santa Barbara YC junior staff Commodore Bill Guilfoyle also kindly and promptly emailed your Ed. this morning saying, "I sailed in the race so my only information is that which Jeff shared with you and the information included in the Coast Guard reports. Needless to say our thoughts are with the injured, their crew mates and families."

According to the YB Race Tracker, all but a handful of yachts entered have finished as of this writing at 10:30 PDT Saturday. BRETWALDA3 is shown as RTD (retired) having docked in at Dana Point. Also listed as retired are DESTROYER, HORIZON, NUMBERS, OEX, RAPID TRANSIT.

AMAZING GRACE finished the race, according to the race tracker, Friday afternoon at 16:55.

P.S. One hears from several friends who raced that Thursday evening and into Friday morning the yachts encountered sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts to 38, and seas of eight to ten feet.

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