What's That Big Boat Doing On Main Beach?

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip ... that ended Sunday in Laguna.

A 36-foot-long boat that ran aground just off Cleo Street Beach on Sunday is now, at least as of Monday evening, parked on the Main Beach sand near the old lifeguard headquarters.

How long it'll be there isn't known—and by the time you read this, it could very well be gone—but how it got there is rather entertaining, if you enjoy taking pleasure in the misfortune of others.

The "other" in this case would be one Stephen Michael Fryer, a 47-year-old sailor who was piloting his boat, the Why Knot (the name embossed on its stern in a rope-shaped font ... Why Knot ... rope ... get it?) from Catalina Island to its San Diego home port Sunday when he wound up taking a loooong left turn and docked at Cleo Street. Where, of course, there are no docks.

How exactly Fryer managed to become Laguna Beach's most unusual weekend day tripper isn't exactly known, and, indeed, may not even be remembered by Fryer, since he was found onboard the Why Knot allegedly passed out drunk when authorities arrived Sunday to find out why a huge boat was stuck there. 

And we're talking some serious authorities, too—Laguna Beach lifeguards, the Laguna Beach Police Department, the Orange County Harbor Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard all showed up for the party to make certain Fryer wasn't a terrorist, illegal immigrant smuggler, downhill skateboarder or plastic bag user.

It took some cajoling to get Fryer off his boat—if he wanted to go down with his ship, well, sorry dude, the water is only a few feet deep at that point. But he eventually relented, and was promptly rewarded for his trouble with an arrest and booking on suspicion of boating under the influence. Fryer wasn't injured, but if the B.U.I. part turns out to be true, his wallet will feel lots of pain, with a fine of up to $1,000, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Since the Why Knot was stuck, and a towing company wasn't able to move it Sunday, the boat had to be left off Cleo overnight until high tide helped to dislodge it. It was then towed to Main Beach Monday afternoon, where Fryer, post-arrest, was spotted onboard late in the day cleaning things up.

He wasn't really in the mood to talk to anybody.


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