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Boater arrested after running aground, faces intoxication charge

A man is pulled from the cabin of a sailboat that ran aground in Laguna Beach. Credit: Don Leach / Coastline Pilot

An allegedly intoxicated man ran his sailboat aground in Laguna Beach and had to be removed from the vessel by force, authorities said.

Stephen Fryer, 47, of San Diego was arrested on suspicion of piloting a vessel while intoxicated, Laguna Beach police said.

The 30-foot sailboat, dubbed Why-Knot, got stuck in the surf zone off Cleo Street Beach shortly after 3:30 p.m. When police, firefighters, the U.S. Coast Guard and lifeguards responded they found the boat’s engine running and Fryer holed up in the cabin.

"Lifeguards boarded the boat, and when they contacted the subject, they believed him to be intoxicated,” Laguna Beach police Sgt. Louise Callus told the Coastline Pilot newspaper.

“He would not comply with lifeguard's directions to exit the vessel. He was in a confined area on a slippery deck and they were unable to forcibly remove him."

A second attempt by lifeguards to get to Fryer was successful, he said.

The sailboat remained grounded Monday.

Authorities said Fryer said he didn’t have the resources to tow it and lifeguards were working to dislodge it from the beach.


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Photo: A man is pulled from the cabin of a sailboat that ran aground in Laguna Beach. Credit: Don Leach / Coastline Pilot

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