Fishing Boat Runs Aground at Catalina

A commercial sportfishing vessel out of San Pedro's 22nd St. Landing ran aground on a sandy stretch of coast at Santa Catalina Island early Monday morning with 31 passengers aboard. No injuries were reported.

The Grande 85 left the landing at about midnight and ran aground at about 3:30 a.m., according to landing owner Frank Hall. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard.

"It just slid up on the sandy beach," Hall said. "Nobody's hurt. We'll just give (the passengers) a couple of extra trips for free and try to make amends as best we know how." The boat is owned by John Dipley, who was not aboard at the time of the accident. Neither Dipley or captain Les Fritton could be reached for comment.

Dipley purchased the 85-foot vessel shortly after his former boat, the Queen of the Sea, sank after hitting a submerged rock on the west end of Catalina last February. The 65-foot vessel was destroyed by waves pounding it against the island's rocky shore.

The Grande 85 suffered no major damage and is expected to be back in operation Wednesday.

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