2 boaters safely walk to shore at China Camp when vessel runs aground

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Two boaters in distress were able to safely walk to shore after a 30-foot commercial vessel lost power in the North Bay and ran aground at China Camp State Park near San Rafael.

"It's not the way it was supposed to end up," said Greg Mayberry. He says it was supposed to be a fun new year's fishing trip.

The tides turned when their commercial fishing boat lost engine power and was headed for the shoreline rocks at China Camp State Park..

Captain Matt Phillips says the seas were rough early Saturday morning and the winds were fierce.

The two tried to cast their anchor but they said it wasn't holding.

"It wasn't holding. We tried to keep it off the rocks, but it wasn't happening," said Mayberry.

The Phillips radioed for help before running aground.

The Coast Guard got a phone call from a commercial fishing vessel that had run aground at China Camp around 8:34 a.m. They dispatched a 45-foot surf rescue boat and a helicopter, according to Lt. Cmdr. Jon Lane.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office also sent a rescue boat, sheriff's officials announced around 9 a.m.

Both men made it to safety, but park rangers say the Bay waters can treacherous.

""You can sink a boat in these waves. This is usually when we have a lot of our problems. Even though this was an out-going tide, the vessel was being blown into shore," explained Dan Vianueva, a state park ranger.

The U.S. Coasty Guard says the vessel likely ran out of gas. Its fiberglass hull prevented an oil leak but officials will monitor the situation.

In the end, the fishing trip wasn't a total loss. They did catch one fish. "That was cool," said Mayberry.

Salvage crews will try and move their boat come high tide Sunday morning, which involves getting the boat off the rocks and removing all the fuel and oil to minimize the risk of water contamination.
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