Strong winds, waves push sailboat into Dunedin restaurant



The 35-foot sailing vessel "Porterhouse" broke its anchor line in heavy wind and choppy bay conditions.


High winds pushed a sailboat into a Dunedin restaurant Friday afternoon.

About 11 a.m., the 35-foot sailing vessel "Porterhouse" broke its anchor line in heavy winds and choppy bay conditions.

Strong winds and waves then pushed the unmanned boat into the seawall and dock area adjacent to the Best Western/Bon Appetite Restaurant, located at 150 Marina Plaza.

"Got a busy weekend coming up with weddings coming in, the last thing we need is a boat in the restaurant," said restaurant manager Thomas Ried.

The vessel was at anchor in the bay approximately 400 yards offshore prior to breaking its mooring.

Dunedin firefighters were on the scene in minutes and were able to physically get the vessel under control minimizing any further damage to the dock and structure.

"It was just brute strength, lots of big guys just had to pull," said Chief Bill McElligott.

With a change in the weather and the wind expected to be strong through the weekend, McElligott said this close call is good remind for boat owners.

"Get out and check on you boat and make sure it's tightly anchored," said McElligott.

Damage was estimated at $1,500, with damage to the dock as well as the vessel.