Sailboat towed from beach

A 36-foot Catalina sailboat that ran aground earlier in the week was temporarily parked in the sand at the north end of Main Beach as of Thursday.

On Monday the Why Knot, which ran aground near south Main Beach, was towed from the shoreline, according to police.

"Lifeguards eventually worked with Laguna Beach public works officials to get the boat moved to the north end of Main Beach via tractor," Capt. Jason Kravetz wrote in an email.

On Sunday, Laguna Beach police, firefighters and lifeguards responded to a call that the Why Knot was aground, with its starboard side on the surf zone and its engine running, Sgt. Louise Callus wrote in an email.

The boat's operator, Stephen Fryer, 47, of San Diego, was arrested on suspicion of piloting a vessel while intoxicated, according to police.

He was uninjured and released from custody on his own recognizance, Callus said.

David Drenick of Dana Point Vessel Assist said if asked, his company would remove the sailboat from Main Beach and dismantle it.

The boat is damaged beyond the cost of repairing it, he said. It's the responsibility of the owner to deal with the issue unless the city wants to bite the bullet to have it removed, he added.

The city said it plans to have the vessel demolished and removed by the end of the week, according to the city manager's weekly updates.

Fryer no longer wants the boat "because of all the damage it has sustained," Callus said.

The keel, which is along the underside of the boat, is heavily damaged from when it grounded as well as waves hitting it all night, she said.

Crews had to drain the gasoline out of the boat so a tractor could drag it to Main Beach, said Callus, who added that "whatever can be salvaged will be taken off the boat."

Laguna Beach police and the Orange County Harbor Patrol, which also responded Sunday, said Fryer refused to initially get off the boat.

"A man was seen on the stern of the boat by bystanders and then entering the cabin," Callus said. "Lifeguards boarded the boat, and when they contacted the subject, they believed him to be intoxicated. He would not comply with lifeguard's directions to exit the vessel. He was in a confined area on a slippery deck and they were unable to forcibly remove him."

Lifeguards were successful during a second attempt to remove him.

Twitter: @agomezberman

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