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Boater admits to drinking Long Island Ice Teas before stranding 72-foot yacht on Palm Beach

Posted: 8:56 AM, Sep 07, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-10 18:03:59-04
Yacht washes up on Palm Beach
Yacht washes up on Palm Beach
Yacht washes up on Palm Beach
Yacht washes up on Palm Beach
Yacht washes up on Palm Beach
Yacht washes up on Palm Beach
Yacht washes up on Palm Beach

A boater, who said he had been drinking Long Island Ice Teas before the incident, was arrested Wednesday morning after a 72-foot yacht washed ashore on Palm Beach.

Thomas Henry Baker, 63, Belle Isle, Fla., a suburb of Orlando, told police he "failed to navigate his vessel into the Palm Beach Inlet and ran the vessel into the beach." 

The 72-foot yacht named "Time Out" was spotted floating at the shoreline right next to the Palm Beach Inlet.

Towboat US, Sea Tow and several other private and public agencies are collaborating to remove the boat, which was still on the shore at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Tyson Matthews said the top objective was keeping diesel fuel from leaking.

“It’s a product that can cause damage to any marine organisms in the water, or beach users who might be out here. Health impacts are the biggest concerns,” he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it received a report that the yacht had run aground at 2:15 a.m.

No injuries were reported and no search and rescue effort was organized. The people on the boat were able to walk ashore.

An arrest report from Palm Beach Police stated Baker had a blood alcohol level of about double the legal limit.

He was charged with boating under the influence. 

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Baker returned to the boat after bonding out of jail to speak with FWC.

Officers said drunk boating doesn’t explain everything.

“Right now we’re working the investigation part of how the boat got here and what exactly happened,” Matthews pointed out.