A 38-foot boat ran aground at Corona del Mar State Beach on Thursday night after Fourth of July festivities had died down at the popular spot.
Newport Beach lifeguards responded to Corona del Mar’s main beach after a cabin cruiser named Mel Mac ran aground at about 10:30 p.m. near Tower 3 on the west end of the beach, according to Newport Beach Marine Operations Division Chief Mike Halphide.
The people on board “were having mechanical issues and were distracted by it,” said lifeguard Battalion Chief Brent Jacobsen. “And before they knew it, they were up on the beach.”
Lifeguards and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol responded, and lifeguards tried to pull the vessel off the beach with the Sheriff’s Department’s rescue boat Seawatch III, but were unsuccessful due to the retreating tide, lifeguards said.
A private salvage company tried to tow the boat at about 12:30 a.m. Friday, also without success.
As of Friday afternoon, lifeguards were stationed at the boat while the salvage company worked on a plan to remove it.
The boat’s unplanned appearance on the beach was a headache for lifeguards during a busy long holiday weekend.
They said they were concerned about the cruiser’s 350-gallon fuel tank, though no fuel had leaked from the boat.
Personnel from the Coast Guard and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also went to the scene Friday to monitor the removal operation, lifeguards said.