Sometimes the best of intentions just don’t have luck on their side. A simple desire to escape the north winter cold and have their their 64-foot Power Yacht brought south to the sunny side of south florida ended in a compilations of falures leaving this beauty run ashore. The US Coast gaurd was dispatched Dec. 16, 2012, as the boat landed up on Vilano Beach, Fla. The boats captain was relocating the vessel, from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The response operation for a 64-footer took place on the shoreline at Vilano Beach, Fla., involving the Coast Guard, St. Johns County Fire Rescue, St. Johns County Sheriffs, commercial salvage and environmental response companies drew a large crowd of curious spectators Sunday morning.
The captain of the boat, Rays the Bar, was moving it from Boston to Fort Lauderdale when the boat struck bottom, damaging the propellers, near the St. Augustine Inlet during heavy seas and dense fog on Saturday afternoon.
The captain anchored the vessel and made a call for help, but in the heavy seas the anchor broke free of the vessel, causing it to drift and eventually wash ashore at Vilano Beach.
St. Johns County Fire Rescue responders were on scene when the boat landed ashore on Saturday evening and helped the captain and her daughter escape to dry land where emergency medical technicians were at the ready. Both women were taken to a local hospital and later released without injuries.
Coast Guard pollution responders arrived on scene with the vessel before sunrise Sunday to determine if there was any environmental impact. The vessel did not appear to be leaking fuel. The Coast Guardsmen continued to monitor the boat as an environmental response company pumped the majority of the boat’s fuel, about 450 gallons, off the vessel. A commercial salvage company attempted to tow the yacht out to sea at high tide Sunday morning, but rough seas made it unsafe and the operation did not continue.
The owner of the yacht has contracted a different salvage company, which will attempt to remove the vessel at high tide Monday morning.
The Coast Guard is asking beach goers and spectators to stay clear of the vessel since it may be unstable as a result of waves and changing tides, making it unsafe for those nearby.
The yacht’s captain reported dense fog, rough seas and complications with the boat’s radar were all contributing factors for the accident.
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)