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Update on the Demise of ‘Aequus’

On Friday we shared the story of S/V Aequus, the sailboat that ran aground in Paradise Cove, Malibu, on July 4. At that time it appeared the beautiful vessel was lost to the shore. Not so. A team of rescuers from TowBoatUS managed to salvage Aequus and tow her to Marina del Rey. The team then shared the following photos and information on the TowBoatUS Ventura & Channel Islands Facebook page:

“Early Sunday morning, this 58-ft sailboat went aground after having an anchor failure in Paradise Cove, Malibu. Upon arrival, the vessel was sitting on a rock reef with evidence of hull damage. The vessel was de-fueled by Patriot Environmental Services and debris was picked up from the beach.”

“The 58-ft sailboat went aground after having an anchor failure in Paradise Cove, Malibu. Upon arrival, the vessel was sitting on a rock reef with evidence of hull damage.”
© 2021 TowBoatUS Ventura & Channel Islands

“Working with the tide cycles and coordinating with all involved parties, her removal was planned for Thursday.”

Aequus recovery team
“Our team mobilized at 1 a.m. with all of the equipment and flotation to remove the vessel at high tide.”
© 2021 TowBoatUS Ventura & Channel Islands

“At 7 p.m., after careful planning, rigging, and engineering, our plan to float the vessel off the beach came to fruition and the S/V Aequus went for her final sail out to sea and into Marina del Rey for haulout.”

The half-sunken vessel on its way to Marina del Rey.
© 2021 TowBoatUS Ventura & Channel Islands

Aequus was hauled out to reveal the full extent of her condition.

Damage report?
© 2021 TowBoatUS Ventura & Channel Islands

A big thank-you and congratulations to the crew at TowBoatUS Ventura & Channel Islands for a safe recovery. And a big thank-you to David Gorney for passing along the update.

We also received this video taken by Josh Kerwien @thequalifiedcaptain for another view of the damage:





  1. Jose Kanusee 3 years ago

    AKA total loss. Youtube has some terrific vids on how to properly anchor a boat.

  2. TimR 3 years ago

    Wow. Is that economically repairable or just cleanup and salvage gear at this point?

  3. Constance Livsey 3 years ago

    Having sailed for many years in the South Pacific (Fr Polynesia, mostly), we’ve seen the aftermath of several boat/reef collisions. It is jaw-dropping how quickly waves and tide can grind up the hull of even the sturdiest boat. Heartbreaking.

  4. Ron Sasiela 3 years ago

    This boat owner may want to consider taking my Advanced Anchoring Workshop which raises the level of confidence AND actually shows that your anchor has firmly set! Ron -A Confirmed Anchorholic(TM)

  5. Linda Newland 3 years ago

    Looks like, sadly, a total loss. Can only imagine repairs would be too great for the insurance company to go forward with them. Hope I’m wrong. Can’ anchor in open seaways. Too unpredictable.

  6. Mark Wheeles 3 years ago

    Does anyone know the specifics of the “anchor failure”?
    My best guess would be the swivel.

  7. Wayne Erwin 3 years ago

    Why is this vessel flying Mexican flag on her starboard spreader? I ask this question before and got no response. Is it possible this boat arrived from Mexico. There is nothing about the crew or her owner in this report nor in the previous where an individual described her harrowing efforts at scale the rock so she could get as close as she could to do a fair well hula for the grounded boat. And, nothing about the crew.

  8. The Bitter End 3 years ago

    Worst fear realized. Looking at what’s left of that hull, I need something stronger than coffee.

  9. Micah 3 years ago

    If, in the marina they laugh at your oversized anchor, then you know you can sleep well at night!

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