11 Rescued As Yacht Drifts, Bumps Into SoCal Pier

By: AP/CBS, Posted by Chris Fisher
By: AP/CBS, Posted by Chris Fisher
Lifeguards have rescued 11 people who had to abandon a yacht after it drifted toward a Southern California pier and bumped its pillars.

55-foot yacht at Newport Beach, Calif. pier after it lost power and drifted into the pieron Spt. 1, 2013; 11 people on board swam ashore, with lifeguards alongside

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. (CBS) -- Lifeguards have rescued 11 people who had to abandon a yacht after it drifted toward a Southern California pier and bumped its pillars.

Orange County Sheriff's Deputy William Nelson said no one was injured in Sunday night's accident off Balboa Pier in Newport Beach.

Nelson said someone aboard the 55-foot yacht reported to authorities that the boat lost power and was drifting toward shore. He said heavy fog hampered rescuers' search of the boat and they didn't get a clear view of it until it came close to the pier.

He said the boat couldn't set anchor without power, and it eventually "rubbed into" the pier.

Authorities evacuated the pier and lifeguards swam with the passengers to shore.

It will stay closed until crews inspect it for any damage.

One witness on the pier said told CBS Los Angeles station KCBS-TV, "I thought we were having an earthquake."

A fisherman, Thomas Pan told the station, "The boat was crashing into the wood posts, and was hitting it and you could hear 'Boom.' The whole pier was rocking. That's why the police told us to get off the pier."

The Newport Beach Fire Department lauded the boaters for wearing life vests which, a spokesperson told KCBS, "helped avert a possible tragedy."


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