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Recent Sailboat Grounding

by Rich Gadek May 2023

This picture was taken around 1330 on Friday 3/31/23 looking south at north end of North Island.  It is not a Convair Sailing Club boat.  This should be a reminder that sailboat groundings can occur in San Diego Bay, especially in areas with shallow water or where navigational markers are not clearly visible. Some common areas where groundings have been reported include the shallow flats near the Coronado Bridge, the sandbars near the entrance to the bay, and the shallows near the mouth of the Sweetwater River.

If you find yourself in a grounding situation, the first thing to do is to make sure that everyone on board is safe and secure. Check for any injuries and make sure that everyone is wearing a life jacket. If the boat is taking on water or there is a risk of capsizing, you may need to evacuate immediately.

Next, assess the situation to determine if there is any damage to the boat or if it is stuck on an obstruction. If the boat is taking on water or there is damage, you may need to call for assistance from the US Coast Guard or a local tow service. If the boat is not taking on water and there is no damage, you may be able to free it by shifting weight on the boat or using a kedging technique.

It’s important to remember that grounding incidents can often be avoided by being aware of the water depth and navigational hazards in the area, as well as by following proper boating safety protocols. Make sure to consult nautical charts and be aware of any local regulations or restrictions before entering San Diego Bay.