Coast Guard rescues 22 from sinking boat in SF Bay

October 13, 2012 1:57:55 PM PDT
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 22 people from a sinking passenger boat in the San Francisco Bay Friday night.

Around 9:15 p.m. the hull of 'The Neptune' was punctured and the passenger boat started taking on water. As of 10:40 p.m. the boat was still sinking in the bay after the rescue was made.

Matthew Rice's friends and family wanted to give him a very special bachelor party, but what he got instead was a scare when their party boat hit a rock just off Alcatraz.

There were 18 men who were on board having a party on the bay, some of them came from as far away as Ireland. They decided they would have a beer tasting on a party boat, but they got quite a scare when the boat started to sink.

"We were just hanging out. We were only in the boat for maybe about 20 minutes or so and then all of a sudden, we were coming around Alcatraz checking it out and all of a sudden it was like boom, just like a big jolt and the next thing we knew the Coast Guard boats came in and got us off," said Rice.

"And all a sudden they were like, 'Put on your life vests, go up to the bow,' and then the captain was kind of starting [aiming] it for Pier 39, but you could tell that it was going down and they were clearly saying that 'Oh, it's taking on water,'" said Shane O'Neill.

"It was a little scary hearing their reports. They were like, 'Oh, the hole is this big,' and the guy was pumping out water and he was like chest deep or something," said Rice.

The Neptune has a crew of four. One of the crew members, Rachel Smith, told us exactly what happened.

"We were off course, navigation error. We just were accidentally on the inside of the buoy, instead of on the outside, and we hit what we call Little Alcatraz. Two one-foot by one-foot holes on either side in the back hull," said Smith.

The crew and the partygoers were rescued by both the San Francisco Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard. We're told that there were no injuries.

The damaged boat was towed to Sausalito Boat Works for repair.


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