A yellow submarine was found floating near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after it was allegedly taken by seafaring thieves for an underwater joyride, ABC affiliate KGO-TV reports.
The Alameda County Fire Department crew pulled the empty sub out of the water after it was initially reported as a "downed aircraft." The groovy-looking sea craft, similar to the one from the Beatles' 1968 animated movie, was taken to a local marina where it was tagged by the Emeryville Police Department and taken to an Oakland towing yard.
Marine scientist Shanee Stopnitzky then turned up to shed some light on the strange affair. Stopnitzky said she owns the sub and claimed somebody "stole it and took it for a joyride" from Berkeley Marina where it’s normally used by her Community Submersibles Project to offer journeys under the water. She said the sub, known as "fangtooth," can accommodate two people, goes 30 feet below the surface, and only gives 30 minutes of air to its passengers.
"They had turned a handful of the valves on, so they were definitely trying to operate it," Stopnitzky told San Francisco's KPIX 5. "It’s really funny. I really wish there was film evidence of this happening."
Funny, but also costly. According to the Community Submersibles Project’s GoFundMe page, Stopnitzky will now need around $5,000 to get the craft out of its "submarine jail" and carry out all the necessary repairs to fix damage to the hatch, port, hull, and paint job.
"It’s actually a logistical nightmare," Stopnitzky told KPIX 5.
If aquatic bandits were responsible, it’s not clear how far they sailed before abandoning the vessel, since the thing was full of water when the fire department pulled it out. Perhaps they only intended to go on a brief trip around the marina or—in a Beatles-inspired daze—planned to head further out to find the "sea of green."
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