Brief Visit for the Interim

Doug Hayward

Gary Burks of Vessel Assist towed a wayward sailboat, the Intrepid, that got stuck on Crown Beach.

If your car gets stuck, you call someone to tow you. Same thing when your sailboat gets stuck in the generally well-known and notorious shallows off Crown Beach. That was the case late last Tuesday for the 41-foot Interim, a modest vessel of some years. But unsticking a boat and towing it away is, well, a seahorse of another color. And it costs a whole lot more.

This was in fact a very expensive rescue and tow job — nobody is publicly saying exactly how much. Contrary to reports, the boat did not mysteriously slip its moorings and drift here. It plain got stuck when whoever had the wheel steered it into those shallows. Then the motor overheated and stopped after attempts to back off. The anchor was finally dropped as best possible under the woebegotten circumstances. (It was a standard Danforth anchor, unfortunately a type that can drag if not properly "set" so as to dig in.)

The boat's skipper and one or more passengers waded ashore, according to Gary Burks of Vessel Assist, which freed and towed the boat. Once on dry land, Burks said he was told, they did the proper thing by informing the Alameda police department and the insurance company. The owner is an Alameda County deputy sheriff, said Alameda Detective Art Fuentes.

Dragging her anchor awkwardly behind, hapless Interim came ashore, too — on the tide and waves. Burks freed the vessel, unharmed except for the need to pump out a lot of sea water.

The Interim was floated free at last on the high tide around 3 a.m. Friday morning. She was then towed to an Alameda Point boatyard.


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