Coast Guard Seeks Reason for Sailboat Chase

PHOTO: A boater was chased and detained by the U.S. Coast Guard after he refused a request to allow authorities to board his boat on July 21, 2013 near Sausalito, Calif.
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Coast Guard officials are trying to determine why a sailboat captain refused to allow officers to inspect his vessel and took off, leading them on a low-speed 2.5 mile chase out of San Francisco Bay.

The 43-foot boat was moored near Sausalito on Sunday afternoon when Coast Guard officers approached the boat and asked to come aboard to inspect life jackets and safety equipment on board, according to the Coast Guard.

John McCormick, captain of the boat, told the officers he didn't want them to board and cut his moorings, taking off into San Francisco Bay past the Golden Gate Bridge, Coast Guard spokesman Thomas McKenzie said today.

Officers called for additional help from other Coast Guard vessels before going after McCormick's boat, according to ABC News affiliate KGO. McCormick made it 2.5 miles out of the bay until officers caught up to him, McKenzie said.

"We followed him, came up along side of him and persuaded him that boarding would be in his best interest," McKenzie said.

But when officers boarded the boat, McCormick allegedly became combative, and there was a "brief altercation" between officers and McCormick, McKenzie said.

Officials detained McCormick and brought him back to the Coast Guard Station Golden Gate. The chase and detainment took officers some five hours to complete Sunday afternoon after McCormick first refused inspection around 3 p.m., McKenzie said.

They are still investigating why he refused to have his boat inspected, and have turned McCormick over to the San Francisco District Attorney's office, McKenzie said.

It was unclear to authorities where McCormick or his boat were originally from.

The San Francisco District Attorney's office did not yet know the status of McCormick's case.

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