Presidential Yacht Sequoia Takes Ted Koppel Aboard, Accidentally Forgets Anchors

The Sequoia got cited by the Coast Guard for a safety violation.

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Left, the Sequoia, which once served as the presidential yacht. Right, Ted Koppel of "Nightline."
Left, the Sequoia, which once served as the presidential yacht. Right, Ted Koppel of "Nightline."

If the wind or current hadn't been right, Ted Koppel could have been sent adrift in Virginia waters last year after climbing aboard the presidential yacht Sequoia.

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New court filings in a court case debating the future of the historic vessel show that the U.S. Coast Guard issued a citation against the Sequoia on Sept. 12, 2012, after the boat forgot to bring anchors along on an all-day cruise that featured a talk by the long-time ABC News Nightline anchor.

"Vessel was found operating with no anchors, creating a potential risk to the vessel and passengers if the vessel experiences a loss of propulsion casualty," wrote U.S. Coast Guard Inspector Edgardo Cruz in his citation of the Sequoia. "It's a big issue," he told Whispers Monday. "You don't want a vessel full of passengers adrift in the middle of the channel."

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According to a statement from boat owner Gary Silversmith, which was included in the court documents, the anchors were missing that day because they had been sent out for repair. The anchors were returned soon after the citation, according to the Coast Guard. Whispers was unable to reach Koppel about his near Cast Away experience on the Potomac.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at