2003-08-08 / Front Page

37-Footer Runs Aground In Breezy

Man Arrested In
By Brian Magoolaghan

37-Footer Runs Aground In Breezy

Man Arrested In 'Salvage' Attempt

By Brian Magoolaghan

             The remains of Banjo, a 37-foot yacht that was participating in a race around Long Island lies on the Breezy Point jetty. Several people were rescued and, later, one man was arrested as he allegedly tried to steal parts of the yacht. The remains of Banjo, a 37-foot yacht that was participating in a race around Long Island lies on the Breezy Point jetty. Several people were rescued and, later, one man was arrested as he allegedly tried to steal parts of the yacht.

 

As the 37-foot sloop, Banjo, lay pathetically in the surf near the Breezy Point rock jetty, a gaping hole in her port side, a slippery salvager tired to steal her electronics, authorities say.

U.S. Park Police, headquartered at Floyd Bennett Field, were checking on the beached sailboat when they reportedly saw Paul Bradicich, 51, nearby. Bradicich was allegedly carrying screwdrivers, wire-cutters, a hacksaw and other tools in his shorts and backpack.

A closer look at Banjo revealed to officers that her radar unit and helm (steering column) had been removed. The police estimated the value of the equipment at nearly $11,000.

Bradicich has a New Hampshire address but arrived on bicycle, according to the U.S. Park Police. He will be charged, in Federal Court, with misappropriation of property, tampering, trespassing and possession of burglary tools.

Banjo's troubles began at about midnight on July 31 while her crew was attempting to round the Point, but instead wound up against the rock jetty in Breezy. With the yacht taking on water and trapped by high winds and four to six-foot waves, Banjo's captain, James W. Turner called mayday at about 12:30 a.m., August 1, according to a spokesperson at the New York City Police Department's Deputy Commissioner of Public Information (DCPI).

Several marine divisions responded, but it was the NYPD Harbor Unit that maneuvered close to the jetty and safely rescued Turner and four of his crewmembers. The sailors declined medical attention according to DCPI.

Turner, of Manhasset, N.Y., and his crew were participating in the Around Long Island Regatta (ALIR), a four-day sailboat race. He declined to comment for this story.

Banjo's original owner, Robert Post, of Mantolocking, N.J. said he was "heartbroken" to hear of her "sad condition." Post said he purchased Banjo new in 1990 and sailed her to Maine, Bermuda and other far off destinations. Post sold Banjo to Turner last year.

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