Boat capsized in 20-foot waves at Mavericks, two men rescued by jet-skiers

- Officials say two men are lucky to be alive tonight after their boat capsized at Mavericks near Pillar Point Harbor, just north of Half Moon Bay. 

The spot is notorious for the annual big wave surf contest that's usually held in January or February.

"Pillar Point! Pillar Point! This is Mavericks rescue!" rang out the frantic radio call at 10 o'clock this morning.

A 19-foot-long Boston Whaler carrying two men overturned after a large set of waves rolled in. 

"The waves were really big this morning, it was pushing almost 50-60 feet," said Eric W. Nelson, a documentary filmmaker with Powerlines Productions, who just happened to be shooting video of surfers on a cliff half a mile away.

"[The boat] really did kind of look like a cork for a moment,” said Nelson. “There was definitely drama, but we're in contact with the harbor masters and we immediately let them know.” 

The men, in their 40s, were pulled out of the water by nearby jet-skiers unhurt. They weren’t wearing life jackets and were very lucky to be rescued, according to Cary Smith, the Deputy Harbor Master at Pillar Point Harbor Patrol. 

Their boat, however, was a total loss.

"It drifted from outside Mavericks all the way around the harbor entrance and all the way down to where it is in less than an hour and a half," said Smith.

"[The guys] weren't paying attention and they were at the wrong place at the wrong time."

The rescued men were watching surfers but experts say Mavericks is no place for beginners, especially on a stormy day like today.

"Respect mother nature, trust your instincts, safety first," Smith said.
 

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