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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 5:22 am | Fair 53º


Arroyo Grande Man Identified As Missing Boater Found on South Vandenberg Air Force Base Coast

An Arroyo Grande man has been identified as the boater whose body was found Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after he was reported missing when his vessel capsized off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported the discovery at 3:25 p.m. Sunday.

The body of the man, Jeffrey Delbert McDonald, 46, was located along the coast about 50 yards from the boat ramp on South Base.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department released his name Monday after McDonald's family was notified of his death.

Crews from the Coast Guard and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department began searching for the man about 8 p.m. Saturday after the capsizing was reported.

The man was one of three in a 14-foot aluminum boat that capsized 100 yards southeast of Point Arguello, Coast Guard officials said.

The other two men were able to swim to shore, but their companion disappeared.

The search included a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Morro Bay, a HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles, a HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station San Diego and the Coast Guard Cutter Blacktip, based at Channel Islands Harbor.

A Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit helicopter also joined the search as did county firefighters.

The Coast Guard on Sunday issued reminders to boaters:

» Always wear a life jacket. Since there is little time to reach for stowed vests when accidents occur, wearing one at all times reduces the risk of drowning. Federal law requires vessels to have a personal floatation device on board for each passenger.

» File a float plan. A float plan lets family and friends know a boater’s destination and expected time of return. This can be vital information for responders searching for an overdue boater who may be in distress.

» Have a signaling device to communicate distress on the water. Boaters should have a marine-band radio, signal flares and an emergency position-indicating radio beacon to alert first responders.

Boaters can reach the Coast Guard on marine-band radios on VHF channel 16 any time of the day. An emergency position-indicating radio provides search-and-rescue coordinators with vital information such as phone numbers and the description and type of vessel, which allows the Coast Guard to respond much quicker, officials said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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