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!”