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Boat capsizes off coast near Half Moon Bay

 | Published on 1/5/2011


Coast Guard divers boarded a beached fishing vessel off the San Mateo County coast near Half Moon Bay Tuesday afternoon to secure its 2,000-gallon diesel fuel tank, a spokeswoman said.

The dive team was able just after 2 p.m. to access the 65-foot “Phyllis J” where it ran aground early yesterday morning in the surf off of Francis State Beach, Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Laura Williams said.

“So far we haven’t been able to detect any environmental leaks,” Williams said.

Divers were able to safely board the fishing boat during this afternoon’s low tide and planned to secure the vessel and remove whatever diesel remained in the fuel tank, Williams said.

“We don’t know how much fuel is in the tank,” she said.

Crews will attach ropes to pull the boat upright before removing the fuel and determining if the vessel is structurally sound enough to be towed back to its home port at Pillar Point Harbor.

The Phyllis J was on its side in the surf zone, where waves crashed over it most of the morning, Williams said.

Officials from the state Department of Fish and Game, state parks, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary were monitoring the operation.

The Coast Guard was alerted to the beached boat at about 1 a.m. when a San Mateo County emergency dispatcher received a 911 call reporting the stranding.

Three people on board were able to safely disembark, and no injuries were reported.