Photo: Owatanna (Oceanic Yacht Sales)
SAUSALITO — An ex-pilot was scheduled to appear at Marin County Superior Court on January 25 to face charges involving a “piracy” incident on the San Francisco Bay that occurred earlier in the week.
A 107-foot vessel weighing 350 tons classified as a “super yacht” was recklessly set adrift on January 22.
The former tugboat now painted bright red was converted into a super yacht. Twice the size as an average yacht, it was rechristened as the Owatanna. The luxurious Owatanna was moored at Sausalito Yacht Harbor—offered for sale at $1.5 million—when someone under mysterious circumstances cut its moorings.
It drifted from a sheltered area of Richardson Bay into busy San Francisco Bay, where a ferryboat captain spotted it, and alerted the U.S. Coast Guard about it as a nautical hazard.
When Coast Guard officers boarded the Owatanna, they located Douglass J. Crandall, a 48-year-old transient known for living on anchored boats.
The vessel was returned to the harbor and the Coast Guard turned Crandall over to the Sausalito Police Department for further investigation.
It was later determined by the local police that someone at the Sausalito Yacht Harbor had recently seen Crandall and chased him off another vessel that’s moored there.
Following an investigation, Crandall was accused of being responsible for breaking a window on the vessel and cuttings its moorings; jumping into the bay, swimming out to and then illegally boarding the super yacht.
Crandall was subsequently booked at Marin County Jail on January 22 at 1:12 p.m., where he’s being held in lieu of $15,000 bail. He’s charged with grand theft of a vessel, willfully setting adrift or sinking a vessel, and vandalism.