My understanding was that one of the deciding factors in Skip's decision to abandon the boat was that he was in a position to be rescued. If he had continued on the conditions for his rescuers may have deteriorated to the point where their safety would have been in jeopardy. I believe I read this here on sailnet.
Yes, in fact the USCG would not come out to rescue due to weather conditions and they had their hands full with coastal pleasure boaters in distress. The cargo ship that picked him up was traveling south to Los Angeles and it was either go aboard the ship or wave as it went by; with the weather deteriorating further than the existing 30-40' seas. He had one chance to board the ship and he was lucky to have made it aboard from the way the story sounded. The safety of the crew who helped him board were in jeapordy; and they did an amazing job given that they are not trained for that type of rescue operation.
I wonder how many of those sub 4' boats have actually made it across the pond. How many were never heard from again? I mean if you can only take on 3 buckets of water, then *ploop* the boat sinks; what then??!! No liferaft? Do they at least carry a belly-boat and fins in case the "mother ship" goes down??!!