The conditions that Saturday were extremely rough with wind speeds exceeding 25 knots and gusts up to 45 knots. Ten-foot waves were estimated on Ocean Beach. As the three kite surfers approached the surf line they noticed debris in the water, while standing on their surfboards and being towed by large kites 70 feet in the air. They came upon a man in a small rigid inflatable boat (RIB). The man was Captain Roger Christiansen (San Anselmo, Calif.), 52, of the 43-foot tugboat Richardson Bay. In an attempt to recover a lost skiff, the tugboat, with its two-man crew, was about a half-mile offshore when it took heavy seas over her bow and proceeded to sink. Christiansen and his mate were forced to abandon ship and enter the frigid waters due to the extreme conditions.