Trillo thanks emergency crews for responding to damaged yacht

Joe Trillo's boat ran aground off the Charlestown Breachway, Sunday, July 8, 2018, requiring assistance from the Coast Guard and others. (WJAR)

Joe Trillo, an independent candidate for governor of Rhode Island, thanked the Coast Guard and others on Monday for coming to help when his motor yacht ran ground.

The 65-foot Lady M struck a rock Sunday morning near the Charlestown Breachway and began taking on water. First responders pumped out the water, and a salvage company towed the yacht to shore.

“We bent the propeller and we bent the rudder,” Trillo tells NBC 10.

Trillo was using the yacht as a campaign billboard. Patriotic music blared from the boat as it sailed by a crowded beach.

Tony Santilli was on the beach and watched the boat come to a sudden halt. “He hit the sandbar and you could see the whole boat just come to a stop,” he tells NBC10.

Four people were on board, and Trillo said no one was hurt.

Trillo was driving the motor vessel along South County beaches over the weekend blasting patriotic music and flying a Trillo for Governor banner.

When NBC10 told him some beachgoers were annoyed by the loud music, he said “They’re not my voters, of course they were annoyed. They’re annoyed because I outsmarted them. I’m reaching 200-thousand people a day, you know what that would cost to do that through the media.”

Trillo wound up on a pile of rocks not far from the Charlestown breachway. A local mariner tells NBC10 the boat is way too big to be in that water. But Trillo claims the fault was not his. “I go by charts. And I read the charts religiously. This particular rock, these rocks, were not on the charts. and it’s very abnormal that you would find this type of a situation, because it was right near the entrance to the breachway to Charlestown. The rocks should have been marked. “

Trillo is campaigning without major fundraising knows he can’t compete financially with the top party candidates.

“For every ten dollars they spend, I can only spend a dollar and this is part of getting as much media as I can get, without having to actually put out the dollars and buy the media,” he tells NBC10. And the yacht being on land doesn’t quiet his campaign. “We still have the motor homes on the road. We have the box trucks. So We’re out and about all over the place.”

"The officials arrived on scene quickly and acted with the utmost professionalism and effectiveness to ensure the safety and comfort of myself and my crew," Trillo said in a statement. "I would like to personally say thank you for all of their hard work."

Trillo blamed inaccurate NOAA charts that he said failed to show the location of a rock formation underwater.

His statement said the damage was minor and that he expected it to be repaired quickly.

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