When Charlotte Minahan, a Wine Country Real Estate agent, was sitting in her Petaluma marina office early Monday afternoon and heard shouts, she ran to the window to see who was yelling.
"I looked out my blinds but all I could see was two orange squares floating in the water," Minahan said. "I thought it was weird — until I saw bubbles and knew someone was underneath the water."
Minahan and her coworkers ran outside just as a man bobbed his head above the water, screaming for other people who had also come outside to call 911. The orange squares Minahan had seen from her window were lifejackets that the man in the water was clinging to. Rob Terry, another Wine Country agent, got down on the pier, close to the man in the water, hooked his arm into one of the lifejackets and pulled the man to shore.
"When we got him out of the water, he said that he had forgotten to put the plug in the bottom of his boat and that it sank," said Minahan.
The Petaluma Fire Department arrived on scene and found the man in good health. They attempted to locate the boat, which at that point was completely submerged.
"It was a 12-foot aluminum boat and we tried to find it but couldn't," said Petaluma Battalion Chief Jeff Schach. "If someone hadn't told us there was a sunken boat, we wouldn't have even known it was there."
Schach said the fire department turned the rescue over to harbor master, who was able to retrieve the boat soon after. Because there was no crime or injury, the fire department declined to release the name of the man who was rescued.
(Contact Janelle Wetzstein at firstname.lastname@example.org)