Captain of boat that ran aground near Salmon Creek tried to flee after rescue

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The captain of a fishing boat that ran aground just this weekend south of Salmon Creek on the Sonoma Coast was jailed after his rescue because of a felony no-bail warrant for his arrest issued in Mendocino County, State Parks officials said.

The boat — an uninsured 54-foot fishing vessel called the “Verna A II” — remained high and dry in the sand on South Salmon Creek State Beach while State Parks and other coastal authorities determine who might be responsible for retrieving it, State Parks Officer Tim Murphy said.

The vessel was spotted by a surfer about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, marooned in about 5 to 8 feet of surf about 100 yards from the river’s mouth.

After rescue swimmers brought him to shore, Roy Underwood, 57, gave authorities two different names and then gave them the slip, saying he was using a restroom but didn’t return, Murphy said.

Hours later, an officer found Underwood leaving Diekmann’s Bay Store on Highway 1 in Bodega Bay about 10:45 a.m. with a bottle of Taaka vodka, Murphy said.

“He said he was going to sit under a tree and get drunk,” Murphy said.

Underwood’s most recent address was in Tillamook, Oregon, but he had been living on the boat, which was listed out of Fort Bragg.

Underwood told officers he had gone to sleep when the boat was drifting about 4 miles from shore, something he’d done in the past without problems, Murphy said.

Details about the Mendocino County warrant weren’t available Tuesday.

Underwood was on probation in Mendocino County after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary, records show. He was arrested Dec. 26 after police said he took about $200 worth of items from Tommy’s Marine Service and Supply on South Harbor Drive in Fort Bragg.

He was also arrested on suspicion of giving a false name to a peace officer, a misdemeanor.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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