RICHMOND (KCBS) – The multi-million dollar luxury sailing yacht that was run aground by alleged thieves off Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica Monday has been recovered and towed to a Richmond salvage yard. But it’s possible the vessel endured so much damage that it could be declared a total loss.

The 82 ft. sailboat was so deeply wedged into the sand 20 yd. off shore that it took 12 hours to get it out, and it was finally pulled into Richmond at around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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According to authorities, three suspects allegedly filled the boat with pizza and beer before stealing it from Sausalito but only got as far as Pacifica before trouble hit. The vessel was battered by rough surf for so long that while it looks to be intact, there could be damage below, according to the salvage company.

“It’s a very large vessel, 64 tons. It was in the surf and being rocked violently. It was very dangerous for our divers to board the vessel, do the things that were neded to do, they had to deal with taking care of potential environmental hazards, spillage of diesel fuel form the tanks,” explained Tim Parker, owner of Parker Diving Services which is coordinating the salvage.

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The boat has three cabins, each with its own bathroom. Comparable vessels sell for several million dollars. Surveyors will spend Tuesday assessing the damage.

The three suspects – 63-year-old Leslie Gardner, 54-year-old Dario Mira and 56-year-old Lisa Modawell – remained in custody and were facing grand theft and conspiracy charges. They were set to be arraigned in San Mateo County Superior Court later this week.

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