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Sailor Dies, 5 Rescued In Sailboat Accident Off SoCal Coast

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LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — One sailor has died and five others were rescued following a sailboat accident off the Southern California coast.

The accident happened Friday night during the 4th annual Islands Race which got underway at Belmont Shore in Long Beach, CBS2’s Art Barron reported.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the craft’s rudder failed and its crew wasn’t able to deploy a life raft or anchor.

Video of the dramatic rescue shows a helicopter hoisting the six to safety. The crew of Uncontrollable Urge abandoned the vessel around 9:30 p.m. in rough water. A small craft advisory was in effect at the time.

General Manager Tom Gilbertson of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, a co-sponsor of the race, was shocked to learn of the accident which claimed the life of 36-year-old Craig Thomas Williams of San Diego.

“Heartfelt sympathy is where our minds are right now for the yachting community. We are a small community and it is important that everyone knows that we are grieving for the loss,” Gilbertson said.

Williams was a husband and father. His wife is expecting another baby.

James Gilmore, the owner and captain of the vessel, was among those rescued.

He and the other crew members were treated at a San Diego hospital and have since been released.

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