Actors George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere rescued off Morro Bay

Posted by David Middlecamp on August 5, 2013 

George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere relax a moment in a van at Port San Luis Tuesday after the couple and their crew were brought in from a rented yacht that had been crippled. The print says CAPTION where an Associated Press caption would be affixed. ©Thom Halls/Telegram-Tribune


It is the 70th anniversary of World War II Gen. George Patton coming to national attention as he led successful drives in North Africa and Sicily.

The man who became famous playing the general in the 1970 movie "Patton" has a Central Coast connection. George C. Scott made an unplanned trip to Port San Luis when the tail of the 1978 storm that flooded San Luis Obispo damaged the boat he had chartered.

On Jan. 18, 1978, Telegram-Tribune reporter Jeanne Huber wrote about the adventure on the high seas:

Actor plays in real-life rescue tale

It was "the biggest wave I ever saw."

That was how actor George C. Scott described the 20-foot wave that damaged his chartered yacht Tuesday and forced the Coast Guard to rescue him, his actress wife, Trish Van Devere, and their crew of four off the San Luis Obispo County coast.

The wave hit about 7:30 a.m. as the 82-foot yacht Mojo was leaving Morro Bay for Pebble Beach, where Scott planned to play in the Crosby Pro-Am Golf Tournament.

Miss Van Devere said she was sitting alone in the wheelhouse, "enjoying how we were taking those waves," when suddenly one gigantic wave "just smashed through."

It shattered the Mojo's wheelhouse and railing and sent glass fragments flying into the lower lip and left hand of the boat's captain, Norm Catton. Ms. Van Devere injured her left foot, but Scott and the other crewmen appeared unharmed.

The Coast Guard dispatched its cutter Cape Hedge to escort the Mojo to Port San Luis, where both boats tied up at Union Oil buoys to ride out the rough seas expected Tuesday night.

Catton said he would take his boat back to its home port at Newport Beach for repairs. He would not estimate how much that might cost.

Scott and his wife, who paid an estimated $10,000 for what was to have been a 10-day boating holiday, continued on to the golf tournament by land after they and the crew were checked at Sierra Vista Hospital in San Luis Obispo.


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