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Sailboat Theft Thwarted by Liveaboard Neighbors

At around 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 23, Steve Ingram and Allie Hawkins received a phone call from their liveaboard dock neighbor at Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, Richmond, that a sailboat was close to crashing into their charter boat, Gas Light. The sailboat had been untied from the dock and was drifting through the marina, with a very agitated man aboard.

“It was quite the wake-up call yesterday,” Allie told us.

“We are just so grateful for the liveaboard that called the police, and [the] harbormaster’s quick actions to keep all the boats safe!”

Aaron Reamy, the sailor who alerted the police, said he had stumbled across the incident as he was walking up to the restrooms at around 5:00 a.m. “Someone had just climbed over the wall,” Aaron said. “I couldn’t really see him; he was backlit.”

Being new to the area and the marina, Aaron chose to be cautious and not approach the unknown person. However after a hurried stop at the restrooms he came back to see where the person had gone. “I saw a flashlight near the bow of my boat.” Aaron hurried back down the dock, by which time the intruder was hanging off the back of a nearby Cal 2-46.

I called out, “Hey man, there’s people on all of these boats, you should get the f%#@$ out of here!

“I woke my wife and turned on all the lights and dock lights.”

Aaron then knocked on the hull of the boat next to the Cal 2-46. The owner, Tom, had heard a commotion and was already up and dressed. Aaron left his wife and Tom to keep an eye on the sailboat, and made the calls to the police and harbormaster. Tom took his task one step further and followed the drifting sailboat in his kayak.

“What a hero!” Allie wrote.

Allie told us that the Cal 2-46 was locked, thus preventing the intruder from starting the engine. “He attempted to scull the boat by rocking it back and forth and moving the wheel. He had made his way very slowly across the marina with barely any wind.” Allie and Steve are very grateful to everyone who was involved in preventing the theft, and in protecting their boat.

“Gas Light’s neighbor, Connor, used his long boat hook to keep the stolen boat off Gas Light. Apparently, the boat had drifted, with the thief aboard, to only a few feet from Gas Light’s starboard beam! Then, a few minutes later, Steve Orosz, the harbormaster, was using his Boston Whaler to fend off the Cal 2-46 from Gas Light.

“This is when we arrived and the rest was caught on camera.” NOTE: Language Warning. If foul language offends you, turn the sound off before starting the video!

We called both the marina office and the Richmond PD but were unable to get any more details before going to press. However it did appear to witnesses that the perpetrator was known to the police.

As Allie wrote on her Facebook post about the incident, “This is why you need to lock your boat and get to know your boat neighbors!”


  1. Karen 3 years ago

    Did the stolen vessel make it back to port safely?

  2. Bob Anchor 3 years ago

    Ummm this is why you need community based mental health services prior to crisis-

    • J. 3 years ago

      As opposed to not stealing…

  3. Art Ewart 3 years ago

    Sailors taking care of other sailors. I love how this boating community watches out for one another.

  4. steve banbury 3 years ago

    Nice to have great neighbors looking out for one another!

    On a separate note, the quality of the video was awesome, especially given the low level of light.
    Would you please share what camera was used to acquire the video?
    I want one!!

    • Tim Cook 2 years ago

      Looks like an iPhone 13 to me – the new lenses also tend to have a small lens flare with bright lights at night, which is visible in the video.

  5. Leo Weiss 3 years ago

    Steve Ingram has good potential as professional videographer. Great job Steve. Had you bleeped all the expletives there would be no audio left.

  6. James 3 years ago

    I have a GED scholarship to Harvard in London and I need to get there!

    Seriously, I don’t envy the police. Could you imagine dealing with that on a daily basis? Geez

    • jim heywood 3 years ago

      This is yet another example of the rest of us being held hostage by folks that need health care and a safe place to live. At least we have more aircraft carriers than all the other jokers combined. Murica!

  7. Tim Dick 3 years ago

    Hats off to you! Well done…

  8. Dan O 3 years ago

    It is very reassuring that people are aware of their surroundings.

  9. Hans 3 years ago

    If I got a dollar for every time he mentioned he had a GED scholarship I could buy that Cal 46.

  10. Timothy Fay 3 years ago

    So glad everyone in the marine community is so vigilant and loving of their neighbors. The best Group of people. The owner of that boat will be the most grateful for everyone involved in saving his or her boat.

  11. Steve Cameron 3 years ago

    Great job RPD and to Harbormaster Steve! Years ago I lived @ Marina Bay and was able to stop the theft of my neighbors dinghy. We all look after each other.

  12. sailorette 3 years ago

    Liveaboards are the first line of security in any marina, yet so many California marinas are banning them.
    What happened here is exactly why you should always get to know your neighbor!

  13. Taylor E Gray 3 years ago

    I can relate to being a live aboard! I lived aboard my Catalina 27 plus tabby cat for 21 years in Marina Cortez, San Diego-California. The live aboard community was great and like the article said,WE looked after our neighbors boats !!! Your first name and what kind of boat you had was all that was required down there. For 16 years, I didn’t even have a lock on my boat because everyone looked out for everyone else. Not until a former friend of mine got addicted to crack cocaine did I lock my boat, After I found out, then Yes, I drilled through the teak and put a Master lock on the overhead hatch into the salon.I miss that life and the many friends I had, but, circumstances changed and I had to sell my boat/ home and, along with my tabby Christy, drive my SAAB to Whitmire, South Carolina.Now it’s just a pleasant memory. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving, sincerely Taylor E Gray

  14. Cindy Reid 3 years ago

    Good thing this marina allows liveaboards otherwise this could have ended up with a not so happy ending. This is a great example of how valuable having liveaboard residents at the marina can be. Great job looking out for your neighbors.

  15. Shawn 3 years ago

    This is Awesome! So glad this community watches out for everyone. I love it

  16. Corey Andrew 3 years ago

    That’s a long trip from California. He wouldn’t have made it by Monday anyway.

    Glad they got to him when they did, he probably would have bashed that Cal to pieces because he obviously doesn’t know how to sail

  17. SV Tribute 3 years ago

    All well that ends well. Sailors tend to form close communities. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t that way. With all the money I spend on my little boat, sometimes I think I’d be better off if it got stolen! ?

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