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Wine tasting party rescued from sinking ship

A wine-tasting boat nearly sank near the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay late on Friday night, leaving its 22 passengers to be rescued by the coast guard.

Rescued passengers on the coast guard’s vessel

The 40-foot Neptune, which is dubbed “San Francisco’s only floating wine tasting room”, struck a shoal and had a foot long gash torn in its hull.

The captain tried to return the ship to the pier but it began sinking before safety could be reached.

The coast guard quickly reached the stricken vessel and rescued the crew and passengers – a stag party.

One guest, Matthew Rice, told KGO-TV: “We were only on the boat for maybe about 20 minutes or so.

“We were coming around Alcatraz checking it out and all of a sudden it was like boom, just like a big jolt and the next thing we knew the coast guard boats came in and got us off.”

The Neptune’s operators, San Francisco Bay Boat Cruises, offer the “Wine Tasting on the Bay” experience for upwards of $60 per person. The cruise lasts 90 minutes and guests are able to taste northern Californian wines.

The ship is described on its website as a, “1958 classic cabin top cruiser constructed by Jefferies Boat in Venice California.

“The Neptune was not built for fishing or towing, she was built for leisurely cruising and parties. She is surrounded with varnished hardwood both in and outside and painted a glistening white with a green awning that surrounds the outer deck.”

Another message on the website thanked the coast guard and added: “This has definitely been a setback for our rapidly growing family business, but we are hoping to have the Neptune repaired and to be back wine tasting on the bay as soon as possible.”  

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