A fishing boat ran aground off Ocean Beach this morning, leaking fuel, scattering debris, and leaving at least one man in jeopardy.
According to SF Gate, the Paloma of Santa Cruz, a 38-foot salmon fishing vessel, left San Francisco Bay for the Ocean Beach area at around 2:30 this morning.
At around 3:34 a.m., a mayday call was made from the Paloma to the Sunshine, a nearby fishing boat. According to KRON4, in that call, the Paloma's captain, Timothy Lybrand, who reportedly makes a habit of fishing alone, said he was 25 yards from shore, and would have to swim in.
That call was relayed by the Sunshine to first responders, including the Coast Guard Station Golden Gate, Air Station San Francisco, and the San Francisco Fire Department. When those forces arrived at the area near the Cliff House, they discovered the Paloma on its side about 50 feet from shore, aground in the 10 or so feet of water in that stretch of coastline.
The boat, which can hold up to 400 gallons of diesel, appeared to be leaking fuel and oil. Buffeted by strong currents, the boat also appeared to be breaking up, sending debris into the water and onto the beach.
However, Lybrand was nowhere to be seen. An SFFD rescue swimmer managed to reach the boat, KCBS reports, but rough conditions prevented that swimmer from making a full search of the vessel.
One of the Paloma's lifeboats remained tethered to the boat. The other was discovered, unoccupied, near Kelly's Cove, according to ABC7.
At publication time, the US Coast Guard tells SFist that a helicopter, two search boats and the SFFD's "beach rover" continue the search this morning, even as additional Coast Guard crews work to control the oil and fuel leak spreading from the damaged vessel.
The Coast Guard is also still trying to piece together what led to this wreck, and asks that anyone with information regarding this incident contact their Coast Guard Command Center at 415- 399-3547.