Crew member killed during California sailboat race

Sat Mar 9, 2013 5:48pm EST

A stricken sailboat, the Uncontrollable Urge, is pictured near San Clemente Island, California in this still image capture from an infrared Coast Guard handout video taken March 9, 2013. REUTERS/USCG/Handout

A stricken sailboat, the Uncontrollable Urge, is pictured near San Clemente Island, California in this still image capture from an infrared Coast Guard handout video taken March 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/USCG/Handout

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(Reuters) - A crew member was killed when a 30-foot sailboat broke apart in rough seas during a race near San Clemente Island in California, the Coast Guard said on Saturday.

The crew of the boat, the Uncontrollable Urge, issued a mayday call at around 9:26 p.m. on Friday night, after the sailboat's rudder failed during the so-called Islands Race.

Five survivors were rescued by a San Diego-based Coast Guard aircrew and transported to a nearby hospital.

The name of the deceased crew member was not immediately released but Coast Guard Petty Officer Henry Dunphy said he died when the vessel broke apart.

Initially, the crew attempted to anchor the boat, but the anchor "would not catch" and the boat "entered the surf line and was broken apart by the waves, forcing the crew to abandon the vessel," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

"The crew initially stated they were not in need of assistance and declined assistance from both the Coast Guard and other boaters involved in the race," the Coast Guard statement said.

"The sailors requested assistance from a commercial salvage company, however they were unable to launch due to weather conditions," the statement said.

(Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Tom Brown)

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