California

Abandon ship! Empty homemade sub found adrift in San Francisco Bay

Firefighters responding to mistaken reports of a downed aircraft in San Francisco Bay on Sunday instead=d found this abandoned homemade submarine-type craft.
Firefighters responding to mistaken reports of a downed aircraft in San Francisco Bay on Sunday instead=d found this abandoned homemade submarine-type craft. Alameda County Fire Department

Mistaken reports Sunday of a downed plane in San Francisco Bay instead led firefighters to something much stranger: An abandoned homemade submarine.

The Alameda County Fire Department reported on Twitter that callers reported an aircraft in the bay at 12:39 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters at an Emeryville, California, station could see the object and two boats set out to investigate.

Firefighters instead found a small, homemade craft resembling a submarine floating in the bay with nobody aboard. It was yellow, with a hatch resembling Captain America’s shield and red, white and blue tanks, along with registration markings.

A rescue boat towed the abandoned craft to the Emeryville Marina, where city police took custody, according to the fire department.

The sub, named "Fang Tooth," belongs to marine scientist Shanee Stopnitzky, reported KGO.

"Somebody stole it and took it for a joyride we believe," Stopnitzky told the station. The two-person sub dives up to 30 feet below the surface and has a 30-minute air supply.

"One of my biggest concerns is if someone might kill themselves in it." Stopnitzky told KGO. "It's a simple set of systems, but you still need knowledge of how submarines work."

The Community Submersibles Project, a volunteer group that uses the sub, is now raising money to recover the wayward sub from an impound lot.

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