Authorities are working with a boat owner to free a 33-foot-long, 10-ton sailboat stuck in the sand near Stinson Beach for more than two weeks.
The boat ran aground on July 31 at Upton Beach, which fronts a neighborhood of beachside homes in the Stinson community, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.
The owner is living on the vessel, according to authorities, and could not be reached for comment.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn said the owner has declined assistance. Authorities are giving him time to come up with a plan, and the finances, to remove the vessel on his own, Schermerhorn said. He said the owner is “actively” working with a towing company.
Schermerhorn said they are checking on the boat and its owner every few days and will continue to give him time to come up with a plan to move the vessel on his own.
Boat ran aground on Stinson Beach. Bummer. pic.twitter.com/rD9JIT06gS
— The West Marin Feed (@WestMarinFeed) August 1, 2023
The county has not imposed a strict deadline to remove the boat. The owner told authorities he would have it removed by the end of the month, Schermerhorn said.
“We are hoping it doesn’t take that long, but the County is prepared to step in as soon as he accepts help or it gets beyond his capabilities or financial means,” Schermerhorn said in an email.
The boat owner can pay to have it towed to the farthest possible point during low tide and wait for the next high tide or ask the county to step in, take ownership and determine the best course of action.
“If the boat can be towed away, it will be, and either sold at auction or dismantled depending on condition, to my knowledge,” Schermerhorn said.
An online fundraiser has raised $4,691 to assist the owner in removing the vessel.
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The boat sits in an environmentally sensitive area. The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary covers that part of the Pacific Ocean, with the Bolinas Lagoon — designated a “wetland of international importance” by the United Nations — located nearby.
Schermerhorn said there are no spill concerns, since there are no biohazards onboard. All the oil has been removed, he said.
Max Korten, director and general manager of Marin County Parks, said the boat does not currently present any dangers to nearby wildlife sanctuaries. However, he said if the boat is there long term and begins to break down, the resulting debris and trash could be a cause for concern.
“We’re always conscious to protect those sanctuaries, lagoons and environments,” Korten said. “I’m hoping for the best solution possible.”