Boat Outing Turns Treacherous

Lifeguards rescued passengers from a boat taking on water near Heisler Park. Photo courtesy of LB Marine Safety Department.
Lifeguards rescued passengers from a boat taking on water near Heisler Park.
Photo courtesy of LB Marine Safety Department.

Laguna Beach lifeguards and Good Samaritans came to the aid of passengers on a stalled powerboat pushed by waves onto a shoreline reef about 5:40 p.m. Sunday, April 3.

“They were in a perilous position,” lifeguard Chief Kevin Snow said in an interview this week.

The outing by boat owner Alberto Vumigo of Anaheim turned treacherous when his 18-foot vessel lost power off of Heisler Park when kelp fouled the propeller of the outboard motor, Snow said. With the boat captain unable to restart the engine, wind and waves pushed the vessel towards rocks jutting from the water and in the surfline of Picnic Beach, he said.

Vumigo and his daughter, who wore a life jacket, managed to get out of the boat that ran aground on the rocks, said Snow, whose reports indicated two other passengers remained on board.

That account disagrees with one from local resident and ocean swimmer Leigh Bell, who said he alerted authorities as waves slammed the drifting boat into rocks.

Before lifeguards arrived, he said he scrambled across the reef to reach the boat. Bell said the boat operator pushed his terrified 3-year-old daughter into his hands. Bell, in turn, passed the child to two other civilian rescuers who assisted by wading into the surf.

Responding lifeguards slid the boat that was taking on water off the rocks and guided it onto the sand, Snow said.

Bell saw the father exit the boat and hurriedly run to find his daughter.

“They were very fortunate to get on the rock without anything happening,” said Snow, noting that the boat ran aground two hours before high tide, which would have made the situation riskier.

No charges will be filed, Snow said.



Police Urge Motorists to Silence Distractions

Laguna Beach police will join a statewide law enforcement campaign Wednesday, April 20, of vigilance for distracted drivers.

Distracted driving caused 67 fatalities and 11,000 injury collisions statewide in 2015, with the actual number of cases likely higher, Laguna Lt. Jeff Calvert said in a statement.


Monday, March 28

Grand theft. 1400 block of Cerritos Dr. 8:11 a.m. Camera gear and other items valued at $2800 were taken from a vehicle.

Vehicle burglary. 200 block of N. Coast Hwy. 9:53 a.m. A guest reported a vehicle break-in.

Vandalism. 1000 block of San Jose St. 2:28 p.m. Someone poured acid in a car gas tank and punctured tires.

Petty theft. La Costa Ct. 4:42 p.m. Gift cards were taken from an unlocked car.

Vandalism. 30800 block of Coast Hwy. 10:23 p.m. A rock thrower broke a hotel window.

Tuesday, March 29

Burglary. 3200 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. 4:45 a.m. Police responded to a burglary in progress call and arrested James Michael Marinow, 31, of Westminster, for attempted burglary. Bail was set at $50,000.

Vehicle vs. pedestrian. Cress St. 1:32 p.m. A vehicle hit the leg of a pedestrian. Further details were unavailable.

Petty theft. 3100 Bonn Dr. 1:53 p.m. Mail was reported stolen.

Domestic violence. 1000 block of Oro St. 9:49 p.m. Christopher Langley, 39, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for suspicion of domestic violence; his partner had suffered a head injury.

DUI. N. Coast Hwy. 10:10 p.m. A security guard’s report about a motorist traveling northbound with front-end damage led to the arrest of a 36-year-old Washington woman for DUI.

Wednesday, March 30

Traffic collision. 300 block of N. Coast Hwy. 12:34 p.m. A cyclist suffered scratches after colliding with a parked vehicle.

Pedestrian stop. 300 block of Broadway St. 3:34 p.m. Audrey Lara Bedwell, 38, of Texas, was arrested for an outstanding domestic abuse warrant.

Suspicious circs. 600 block of Hillcrest Dr. 4:21 p.m. Gemma Johnson, 37, of Costa Mesa, was arrested for suspicion of violating a restraining order and domestic violence.

Thursday, March 31

Traffic stop. Bluebird Canyon Dr. 1:08 a.m. A 31-year-old Simi Valley man was cited for DUI.

Traffic stop. Mountain Rd. 2:11 a.m. A 26-year-old resident of Mexico was cited for DUI.

Traffic stop. 200 block of Bluebird Canyon Dr .2:39 a.m. A 41-year-old Laguna Beach woman was cited for DUI.

Vandalism. Victoria Place. 11:33 a.m. Graffiti was discovered in a tunnel.

Fraud. PD. The victim reported three fraudulent charges on his credit card totaling $15,369 made at locations in Beverly Hills.

Assist other dept. 600 block of Laguna Canyon Road. 3 p.m. Local police lay spike strips and halt traffic as part of a stolen car pursuit by Santa Ana police, who arrest the driver on Coast Highway.

Friday, April 1

Traffic stop. Tablerock 1:48 a.m. A 25-year-old Oceanside woman was cited for DUI.

Reckless driving. El Toro Rd. 4:26 a.m. A 53-year-old Aliso Viejo man, who was driving on wrong side of road, was arrested for DUI.

Petty theft. 1500 block of Bluebird Canyon. Dr. 7:30 a.m. A briefcase, small bills and sunglasses valued at $320 were taken from a car.

Petty theft. 1500 block of Morningside Dr. A vehicle may have been broken into.

Burglary. 600 block of Mystic Way. 8:28 a.m. A garage door was forced open.

Reckless driving. Broadway Place. 6 p.m. A 25-year-old Orange man was cited for DUI.

Saturday, April 2

Fight. 600 block of S. Coast Hwy. 12:30 a.m. Lucas James Israel, 36, of Huntington Beach, was arrested for outstanding warrants.

Pedestrian stop. 200 block of Ocean Ave. 12:29 p.m. A 15-year-old riding the trolley with other kids was cited for possessing 1.66 grams of marijuana as well as alcohol.

Sunday, April 3

Traffic stop. Aster St. 3:30 p.m. A 53-year-old Arizona man was cited for DUI.

Check. 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. 8:15 a.m. A woman who was burning clothes in a storm drain was taken for a mental health evaluation.

Drunk driving. North city limits. 12:49 p.m. A 21-year-old Anaheim man was cited for a drug violation.

Fraud. 300 block of S. Coast Hwy. 3:41 p.m. A customer tried to use a fake $50 bill.

DUI. 400 block of S. Coast Hwy. 4 p.m. Marie Antoinette Sanchez, 32, of Riverside, was arrested for suspicion of embezzlement and possessing stolen property, behind the wheel of a rental car due to be returned in Ontario in February.

Petty theft. 1200 block of Pacific Ave. 7:18 p.m. A wallet was stolen from a car.

Fraud. 200 block of N. Coast Hwy. 10 p.m. A woman provided a fake $50.





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  1. The boating accident was a very brave effort by local residents.
    But it still is vauge and puzzling, no anchor is one thing, but no cell phone is another.
    Reads like a case for the Men in Black.


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