Bad day on the water

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One boater found himself in dire straits in November when his 51-foot yacht ran aground off Catalina Island, according to a report in The Log, California’s boating and fishing newspaper.

The skipper alerted the island’s Baywatch at 5:20 a.m. Nov. 9 by firing four flares in the hopes that someone could pull his vessel off the rocks of Big Fisherman’s Cove. The vessel had been blown into the cove by 35-knot winds, according to the report. Officials were able to tow the boat and secure it to a Coast Guard search-and-rescue vessel’s mooring. However, several bad decisions led to multiple calls for more help.

Four hours later, Harbor Patrol officers received another call that the same vessel was taking on water. The officers arrived on the scene, dewatered the vessel, and notified the Coast Guard of the incident, according to the report. But that wasn't the end of the tale. The skipper called back at 2:42 p.m., telling the Harbor Patrol that his vessel was taking on water, he had cut his mooring line and, in his attempt to beach his vessel at a nearby campground, the boat’s keel struck the beach, leading the boat — once again — to run aground.

The skipper was taken into custody by the officers and the boat was once again transported back to the Coast Guard mooring. At 5:17 p.m., the damaged vessel finally sank.

— Elizabeth Ellis