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Southeast Media Contact: (305) 415-6683

7th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: Dec. 16, 2012

Contact: Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen

Office: (305) 318-1864

PHOTO RELEASE: Beached yacht draws crowd of responders, spectators

Public asked to stay safe distance away

Photo of beached yacht
VILANO BEACH, Fla. - Coast Guardsmen monitor as a commercial salvage company attempts to free a 64-foot yacht Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, that washed up on Vilano Beach, Fla., the previous day. The yacht's captain was transporting the vessel, Rays the Bar, from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the boat struck bottom near St. Augustine Inlet, damaging the propellers, and the anchor chain broke, causing it to wash ashore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)


Additional photos are available below.


VILANO BEACH, Fla. — A response operation for a 64-foot yacht on the shoreline at Vilano Beach, Fla., involving the Coast Guard, St. Johns County Fire Rescue, St. Johns County Sheriffs, commercial salvage and environmental response companies drew a large crowd of spectators Sunday morning.

The captain of the yacht, Rays the Bar, was transporting the vessel from Boston to Fort Lauderdale when the boat struck bottom, damaging the propellers, near St. Augustine Inlet during heavy seas and dense fog Saturday afternoon.

The captain anchored the vessel and called for help, but the anchor broke free of the vessel, causing it to drift and eventually land on shore at Vilano Beach.

St. Johns County Fire Rescue responders were on scene when the yacht beached itself Saturday evening and helped the captain and her daughter, who was helping her transport the yacht, to dry land where emergency medical technicians were waiting. Both women were taken to a local hospital and released without injuries.

Coast Guard pollution responders arrived on scene with the vessel before sunrise Sunday to determine if there was any environmental impact. The vessel did not appear to be leaking fuel. The Coast Guardsmen monitored as an environmental response company pumped the majority of the yacht's fuel, about 450 gallons, off the vessel. A commercial salvage company attempted to tow the yacht out to sea at high tide Sunday morning, but rough seas made it unsafe.

The owner of the yacht has contracted a different salvage company, which will attempt to remove the vessel at high tide Monday morning.

The Coast Guard is asking beach goers and spectators to stay clear of the vessel since it may be unstable as a result of waves and changing tides, making it unsafe for those nearby.

The yacht's captain reported dense fog, rough seas and complications with the yacht's radar were all contributing factors for the accident.

Photo of beached yacht
VILANO BEACH, Fla. - The 64-foot yacht Rays the Bar sits at the shoreline at Vilano Beach, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, where it came ashore the previous day. Coast Guard pollution responders monitored as Moran Environmental Recovery removed the majority of the yacht's fuel, about 450 gallons, to minimize environmental risk, and as a commercial salvage company attempted to tow the yacht back out to sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)
Photo of Coast Guard pollution responders
VILANO BEACH, Fla. - Coast Guard Petty Officers 3rd Class Michael Sheppard and Martin Jetchev gather information from the captain (left) and owner (2nd from right) of the yacht Rays the Bar at Vilano Beach, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, where the yacht came ashore the previous day. The boat's captain stated she was attempting to bring the yacht into St. Augustine Inlet in rough seas and dense fog when the vessel struck bottom, damaging the propeller and causing her to anchor, but the anchor chain snapped and the boat eventually washed up onto the beach. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)
Photo of Coast Guard pollution responders
VILANO BEACH, Fla. - Coast Guard pollution responders discuss the salvage plan for the yacht Rays the Bar at Vilano Beach, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, where the yacht came ashore the previous day. The boat's captain stated she was attempting to bring the yacht into St. Augustine Inlet in rough seas and dense fog when the vessel struck bottom, damaging the propeller and causing her to anchor, but the anchor chain snapped and the boat eventually washed up onto the beach. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)
Photo of beached yacht
VILANO BEACH, Fla. - A Coast Guardsman monitors as a commercial salvage company attempts to re-float a 64-foot yacht Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, that washed up on Vilano Beach, Fla., the previous day. The yacht's captain was transporting the vessel, Rays the Bar, from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the boat struck bottom near St. Augustine Inlet, damaging the propellers, and the anchor chain broke, causing it to wash ashore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)
Photo of beached yacht
VILANO BEACH, Fla. - The 64-foot yacht Rays the Bar sits at the shoreline at Vilano Beach, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, where it came ashore the previous day. Coast Guard pollution responders monitored as Moran Environmental Recovery removed the majority of the yacht's fuel, about 450 gallons, to minimize environmental risk, and as a commercial salvage company attempted to tow the yacht back out to sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)
Photo of beached yacht
VILANO BEACH, Fla. - Spectators gather on Vilano Beach, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, to watch a salvage company attempt to remove a 64-foot yacht from the shoreline. The original salvage company was unable to free the vessel so a second salvage company will attempt to re-float the yacht Dec. 17, 2012. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)

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