For firefighters, water is usually a friend. But it wasn’t to the four adults and one infant who found themselves in a fuel-less 22-foot motorboat at the entrance to the Berkeley Marina Tuesday night.
There were originally six adults and the tot when the gas ran out and the wave-driven craft started battering itself against the rocks, but two were able to leap free.
Deputy Fire Chief David P. Orth said firefighters were able to tie lines to the craft and eventually lash it to the pier until the Coast Guard arrived and was able to tow the battered boat into the marina.
The passengers were rescued without further incident.
“It’s not the sort of thing we usually do,” said Orth.
Illicit fireworks, the bane of firefighters as Independence Day approaches, are blamed as the likely culprits in a small straw fire that broke out near an East Bay Municipal Utilities District reservoir near 700 Winehaven Road at the edge of Tilden Park.
The fire was quickly quenched before it could do any serious damage.