Grounded motoryacht towed to sea in Florida

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Some boating accidents finish with a happy ending.

What began as a delivery gone wrong for a 64-foot Hatteras motoryacht ended with the beached and damaged vessel being towed safely out to sea on Monday and its owner praising local response teams and even his delivery captain.

“I can’t say enough about your sheriff’s department,” owner Jeff Ray told The St. Augustine Record. “They really went above and beyond, and if it wasn’t for them this whole thing could have been so much worse. As for my delivery captain, I completely stand behind her and I’m grateful for her cool head and skill. I’m just glad it wasn’t me out there because I’m not sure I could have handled things as well as she did.”

The yacht was near the end of a delivery from Boston to Fort Lauderdale when it hit bottom just outside the St. Augustine Inlet about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in heavy seas and a dense fog that came on quickly.

The grounding damaged the propellers, disabling the boat, so the delivery captain anchored and called for help.

Unfortunately, after the captain and her daughter were taken off the boat for the night, the anchor parted, causing the Hatteras to drift and wash ashore at Vilano Beach, where it drew curious onlookers who posed for photographs in front of the yacht and speculated about how it got there.

Despite a pending yard bill for damaged props and shafts and a salvage bill of about $40,000, Ray was grateful for the outcome.

Click here for the full report with video of the yacht being towed off the beach.

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