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.
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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.