Activists boarded the Tola Levine at the Army Corps of Engineers’ dock in Sausalito on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal)
A sailboat seized on Richardson Bay has been towed to Vallejo, ending a protest on board in which activists boarded the vessel and refused to leave.
The protest aboard the Tola Levine, which was moored at the US Army Corps of Engineers debris yard in Sausalito, ended on Saturday when Harbormaster Curtis Havel towed the boat with its owner on board to a slip at the Vallejo Yacht Club.
“The (Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency) is not a towing service, there are private companies for that, but this was a win-win for public safety and the future of the Tola Levine,” Havel said.
The boat was seized on Dec. 1 after it was discovered in the navigation channel and remained too long in the anchorage, Havel said.
Owner Jim Rohrssen said he was not aboard when the boat was seized and denied that his vessel was in the navigation channel.
He said he has an anchor alarm that notifies him if his boat drags anchor.
“I always check those when I’m on board,” Rohrssen said. “Yes, I was within 50 feet between the markers, but I was never across the channel.”
Once at the debris yard, activists boarded the boat by water with Rohrssen’s permission. Protesters stayed aboard for five days, saying they objected to such seizures on behalf of the anchor out community, who fear their homes will be destroyed.
Havel said there were never plans to crush the boat, saying only unoccupied boats or vessels deemed marine debris are destroyed by the agency.
The Tola Levine is not permitted to return to Richardson Bay, Havel said.