Four boaters rescued in delta by helicopter, no injuries

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Four boaters were rescued Saturday morning when their 17-foot fishing boat ran aground near Suisun Slough, officials said. 

At approximately 4:00 a.m., the stranded boaters contacted Coast Guard Station Vallejo watchstanders, reported the incident and noted one of the passengers is diabetic. By 7:00 a.m. the four were safely rescued via helicopter, officials said.

A helicopter rescue was necessary, as first responders determined a tow could not be completed because the vessel was hard aground. The stranded boaters were taken two at a time, with the first pair including the diabetic boater. Those two were taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.

The helicopter returned and hoisted the two remaining boaters and took them to Napa County Airport. No one was injured in the incident and the owner of the boat plans to refloat the vessel at high tide. 

"Never underestimate the hazards of operating a boat in the delta," said Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Murphy, the Air Station San Francisco aircraft commander for this case. "These individuals were lucky they had cell phone coverage in such a remote location. We're all very grateful that we could help."

Boaters are encouraged to always have a marine VHF radio aboard to communicate with responders in an emergency. VHF channel 16 can be used to reach Coast Guard watchstanders.