ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A 50 foot sailboat drifted into St. Augustine's Bridge of Lions early Thursday morning.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Lauren Jorgenson said it appeared someone tampered with the boat. The sails were unfurled, allowing the wind to blow the boat from its mooring ball, dragging its anchor.
The Coast Guard sent a boat to search for a possible, unconfirmed man overboard in case someone was on the sailboat.
St John's County Sheriff's Department sent a helicopter to aid in the search.
The St. Augustine Police Department investigated possibilities of criminal activity after the owner reported being on the boat Wednesday at 6 p.m. and left it securely tied to a mooring ball, according to Mark Sampson with SAPD. When police investigated they found the mooring lines had not been cut or frayed so they believe it was untied in an attempt to steal the boat and that is how they are treating the situation at this time. Sampson also said the owner noticed foot prints on the boat that were not his.
Sea Tow pulled the boat away from the bridge far enough for the owner could power up and take the boat to a nearby marina.
Florida Department of Transportation sent engineers to inspect the bridge. They report there is no sign of damage.