Passengers evacuated in San Francisco tour boat incident

The Coast Guard and local emergency crews safely evacuated 41 passengers after a San Francisco Bay tour boat ran aground Saturday afternoon.

The 52’ Osprey, operated by Tideline Marine Group, Sausalito, Calif., was near the Berkley Marina when it grounded around 2:20 p.m., according to officials with Coast Guard Sector San Francisco.

Tideline president Nathan Nayman told the news site Berkeleyside that the Osprey ran aground near a reef at close to the time of dead low tide. The Osprey operates as a water taxi, tour and charter vessel, and on its Saturday trip was carrying passengers on a birdwatching tour.

The Osprey crew contacted Coast Guard watchstanders to request assistance, and rescue crews were dispatched from the San Francisco boat station, air station, and the 87’ cutter Sockeye based in Bodega Bay.

Crews from the Coast Guard and Berkeley Fire Department and Vessel Assist evacuated 41 passengers to shore at the Berkeley Marina, where two passengers with reported injuries were transferred to the fire department emergency medical services.

Two crew members remained on the Osprey with Coast Guard investigators. No serious damage or spills were reported from the incident, which is under investigation.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

1 Comment

  1. They weren’t “near the reef.” They tried to go right over it!

    I’ve walked on those rocks at extreme low tide, and kept my feet dry. Best explanation is that the operator thought it was an approach mark for Richmond, the boat’s destination. But it marks the approach to Berkeley, not Richmond, so the reef marker should have been left to starboard. The Osprey left the reef marker close to port.

    Perhaps the cardinal system of marking obstructions would have worked better than the lateral system in this situation. Although the reef is really much closer to Berkeley than to Richmond.

    The reef has been on the chart since 1859, and the day mark has been in place since at least 1883.

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