Trawler beaches at Limantour

05/17/2012

A 43-foot commercial salmon trawler ran aground at Limantour Beach, south of Coast Camp, just after sunrise on Tuesday. Captain Duncan MacLean, who said he was coming in to anchor when he “fell asleep at the buoy and woke up on the beach,” walked over three miles to the Point Reyes Hostel, where he made arrangements to salvage the vesse. The Half Moon Bay trawler, the Barbara Faye, had about 300 gallons of diesel fuel on board, which Point Reyes National Seashore spokesman John Dell’Osso said was cleared away before Tuesday night by the Coast Guard—at a cost of $10,000. The boat was left in place overnight and suffered hull damage from waves. “She’s toast,” MacLean said of the boat, which is named after his daughter. An excavator was brought to the site Wednesday to help dig out the hull from where it had become buried in sand. The rigging and engine were also removed in preparation for the boat’s transport, in pieces, via land. Hostel assistant Mark Bowen said Maclean, who is president of the Half Moon Bay Fisherman’s Association, vice chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Salmon Advisory Subpanel and Salmon Technical Advisor for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, appeared tired but unhurt and was given dry clothes and food while he waited for rangers to arrive. MacLean said he donated the 600 pounds of salmon that was on board to the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s homeless shelter, as some of the fish had been scaled and was cosmetically no longer in pristine market condition. “We cooked some up at the hostel last night, though, and it tasted pretty good,” he said. The cost of the salvage—an estimated $60,000 to $70,000—will likely be split between the National Park Service, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and possibly other agencies, as the vessel was uninsured. “I’m just trying to take care of everything, and take it one step at a time,” MacLean said. “I’m 62 years old and I don’t have a lot of other skills. Fishing is a pretty individual business, but overall everyone has been very helpful. That’s been a godsend.”