At approximately 1 a.m. on January 4, the Phyllis J crabbing boat overturned at Francis Beach, a segment of Half Moon Bay State Beach on the California coast. The owner of the boat, Larry Fortado, and two crewmembers escaped safely. The trio was in the midst of a crabbing trip. (All of the 10,000 crabs estimated to be on board escaped as well).
A joint response team comprised of the Coast Guard, Fish and Game, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and private environmental response and vessel salvage/recovery specialists worked to upright the boat in the surf zone and avert the potential hazard of an oil spill by successfully draining 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 500 gallons of residual contaminants from the boat.
Because the owner decided to salvage the Phyllis J, it was dismantled for transport into two pieces. The wheelhouse (passenger cabin area) was cut off separately from the 51-ton hull.
The hull was pulled up Highway 1 by a truck and rested on specialized trailer with 96 wheels. Permits from the city, county, and state were required before the operation could begin.
Its transport on January 28 marked the end of a 24-day stay at Half Moon Bay State Beach.
I produced this video (camera, video editing, writing) for Half Moon Bay Patch, which provided comprehensive coverage the story of the Phyllis J from when it beached to its removal and delivery to Fortado’s yard in Princeton almost a month later.