Grounded sailboat returns to sea

Bryce Alderton

NEWPORT BEACH -- A 37-foot rented sailboat that ran aground at 17th

Street on Sunday returned to sea early Monday as a high tide approached.

A salvage company helped refloat the stranded boat, which became stuck

at 3:48 p.m. Sunday, said Newport Beach lifeguard officials.

"High tide was supposed to be at 4:27 a.m. [Monday]," Lifeguard Lt.

Boyd Mickley said. "But they were able to get enough lift shortly after 3

a.m. to pull it back to sea."

Shortly before the boat became stuck in the shore's sand in an area

that was less than 6 1/2 feet deep Sunday, the lifeguards watched as the

three-member crew tried to unfurl the sail, Mickley said.

"They were paying more attention to the sail, weren't watching and got

kind of close to the shore," he said. "The keel began to drag on the

bottom, and the boat got stuck."

The Orange County Sheriff's Department harbor patrol and lifeguard

crews arrived at the scene within minutes to help the boaters, anchored

the boat and turned its bow toward the open sea to prepare for Monday's

high tide.

No one was injured, and there was no major damage to the boat, Mickley

said.

The boat was rented from the Marina Sailing Club, harbor patrol

officials said.

Mickley said it's not common for boats to run ashore.

"I've worked here 19 years, and I remember only a handful," he said.

"It's just an accident that happens at various spots for different

reasons."

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