Seventy-Year-Old Sailor Rescued Off Santa Cruz Island

Rescuers say a lone 70-year-old sailor lost all electricity on his 50-foot yacht near Santa Cruz Island and was airlifted to safety by a U.S. Coast Guard crew before his vessel ran aground and was destroyed.

A Coast Guard official said that without electricity, the man could not start his auxiliary engine and avoid being blown toward the island.

The official said the sailor was spotted by a Los Angeles-based Coast Guard helicopter crew about a half-mile from shore around 3 a.m. Friday and taken to a hospital to be treated for mild hypothermia.

The wreckage of the yacht was later spotted on island's shore.

Santa Cruz Island, the largest in the Channel Island chain, is about 22 miles off the Santa Barbara County coast.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-22-07 1205EST

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