Beached sailboat removed from Atlantic Beach

No one injured when boat runs aground en route to Savannah

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – A sailboat that ran aground in Atlantic Beach was towed back into the water Monday evening as the tide rose.

The 37-foot boat washed ashore about 4:30 a.m. Saturday near the 20th Street beach access, according to Atlantic Beach police.

The captain, Leslie McDaniel, 54, of Savannah, and his wife, Pamela McDaniel, 58, told police that they were a few miles offshore of Jacksonville sailing north to Savannah when at about 1 a.m. their vessel was knocked off course when it hit something in the water, and the waves washed them to shore.

Leslie McDaniel said he struck a rock while trying to navigate toward the Mayport jetty to safely dock for the night. Leslie McDaniel said that after the collision, he was unable to steer the boat and it began to drift south, eventually running ashore about 4 a.m. in Atlantic Beach.

Leslie McDaniel said the boat had no visible damage, although portholes may have allowed a small amount of water to enter the cabin.

Sea Tow had a boat out in the ocean about 4:30 p.m. and slowly eased the sailboat into deeper water. It was back out on the water by 8 p.m., Leslie McDaniels said.

The Coast Guard said no leaks were coming from the boat, so the environment wasn't impacted. The boat will be inspected at a marina before it's taken back to Savannah.

The McDaniels were not injured, and Leslie McDaniels said they thanked God for keeping them safe.

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