SAN DIEGO - A mentally unstable woman who had been missing was found in San Diego early Tuesday attempting to set adrift a 120-foot research ship moored at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography with scientists asleep on board, police said.
Officers were called to the 200 block of Rosecrans Street about 2 a.m. to take custody of the woman, who had been detained by private security after she attempted to set adrift the vessel named New Horizon, according to San Diego Harbor police Sgt. Joe Parra.
10News learned that the woman was able to get into the area by going over a fence. Security guards spotted the woman while she was untying the lines, Harbor Police said.
Police also said the woman appeared to be suffering from mental distress and told officers that she was trying to sail to the east coast.
"It was later determined the female was mentally unstable and was also a missing person at-risk from South Carolina," Parra said in a statement.
Officers said that the 120-foot vessel is owned by Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Officers at the scene said that scientists were asleep inside the boat at the time of the incident.
The boat was docked in property owned by the federal agency and is used by Scripps to dock research vessels.
The woman was taken to County of San Diego Mental Health and no charges are expected to be filed against her.