More than two dozen kiteboarders and windsurfers were rescued from San Francisco Bay near Crissy Field in San Francisco on Sunday evening after the wind unexpectedly died, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Between 5:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., the Coast Guard launched multiple vessels and assisted 25 individuals partaking in watersports who were in distress. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Sean Kelly said they were caught off guard when the wind on the Bay unexpectedly died.
The surfers couldn’t propel themselves back to the beach and were stuck. Kelly said similar occurrences have happened in the past, and the Coast Guard is prepared for it, but it has never happened to so many surfers at once.
Because of the low water temperatures in the Bay, the Coast Guard is reminding windsurfers and kitesurfers to wear a wetsuit of sufficient thickness to prevent the onset of hypothermia.
The Coast Guard’s San Francisco Sector Commander Capt. Greg Stump said:
“It was critical to locate and recover every disabled kiteboarder and windsurfer as San Francisco Bay is the gateway to seven busy commercial ports frequented by large ship traffic.”
The Coast Guard is also urging all watersport enthusiasts to wear a lifejacket and carry a VHF marine radio when taking to the water.
— Scott Morris, Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News