A three-story houseboat stuck for three days at the mouth of the San Joaquin and Mokelumne rivers was finally towed to shore Tuesday evening.
The houseboat, headed from Sacramento to Herman and Helen’s Marina at the western edge of Eight Mile Road, became stuck on Sunday morning, according to U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Laura Williams. It was due to arrive at the marina in Stockton on Tuesday night, according to marina manager Chuck Spurlock.
Spurlock had hired a company to tow the houseboat to the marina once it got stuck on the bank of the San Joaquin River, but he said he found out that the boat righted itself and was being towed by a tugboat to the marina shortly after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The houseboat, towed by a tugboat, began its journey to Herman and Helen’s Marina on Sunday because marina officials were looking to purchase it from the corporation that owns the boat, Spurlock said. Spurlock will inspect it for damage and see if it is still worth buying.
It appears that something went wrong with the tugboat — perhaps mechanical failure — on Sunday, causing the tugboat captain to tie the converted barge onto the bank of the San Joaquin River, Spurlock said. During low tide, the barge got stuck.
Coast Guard officials let the houseboat remain on the San Joaquin River bank on Sunday because it didn’t pose any danger to other boats, Williams said.
The boat righted itself on Tuesday and began floating down the San Joaquin River, but then got stuck again, Williams said. The Coast Guard dispatched a 25-foot response boat at about 10:40 a.m. Tuesday.
The bottom floor of the boat was flooded. The water needed to be pumped out and the windows boarded up before the tugboat towed it to Stockton, Spurlock said.
The corporation trying to sell the houseboat has about 14 converted barges, said Spurlock, who didn’t recall the name of the corporation on Tuesday.
There is no pollution threat to the water, and no injuries were reported, according to a Coast Guard news release. The Coast Guard is investigating what caused the houseboat to become stranded.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.