40-foot Fishing Boat Sinks in Newport Harbor

Byline: The Log Staff

NEWPORT BEACH — A 40-foot fishing trawler named Shamrock sank at its mooring in Newport Harbor Nov. 27, leaving Harbor Patrol officers in the dark as to what caused the vessel to go down.

Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol Sgt. David Ginther said the 1971-built boat was in fair to poor condition, and while officers regularly patrol the A-mooring field where the boat was kept along the Balboa Peninsula, the boat had shown no signs of taking on water until it was too late.

“We do regular patrol checks, but through-hulls and other areas can cause an immediate and catastrophic leak, and vessels can sink in a very short period of time,” Ginther said.

Harbor Patrol received a call of the sinking vessel at about 7:15 a.m. Nov. 27, and upon arrival, officers said they found the vessel completely inundated and leaking diesel fuel, transmission fluid and motor oil.

A 300-foot containment boom was deployed to contain and collect the material, and oil absorbent pads were used to remove the oil sheen from the water. After contacting the Coast Guard and the Department of Fish and Game about the sunken vessel, the owner of Shamrock was contacted, and arrangements were made for the assistance tow company Vessel Assist to raise the vessel.

The boat was removed from the harbor the following afternoon and was hauled out at a local shipyard. Officers said they do not suspect any suspicious activity was involved in the sinking of the vessel.

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