On Sunday, July 12, let’s all plan to go boating.

Close Encounters

Steven Spielberg may have riveted moviegoers with his depiction of the storming of Normandy in Saving Private Ryan, but he only irritated beach-goers when he took his own boat ashore while on vacation.

During a Mediterranean cruise in August, the Hollywood mogul anchored his 282-foot Seven Seas—No. 9 on PMY’s America’s Top 100 Yachts list—off northern Sardinia. Spielberg and several friends, including goddaughter Gwyneth Paltrow, reportedly took the tender for a cruise and decided to do some sunbathing near Porto Liscia—apparently missing the signs prohibiting motorboats within 300 meters of the beach. When they beached the boat and disembarked, a tourist phoned police claiming the tender had threatened swimmers. The Italian Coast Guard showed up in short order.

“When we arrived there was a bearded gentleman signing autographs on the beach. I recognized him instantly,” said Coast Guard officer Vincenzo Petrella. “He came up to me and said, ‘I’m Steven Spielberg. How can I help?’ I told him that regulations forbid tenders coming within 300 meters of the shore.” Petrella said that Spielberg was polite and apologetic.

“I said I had no other option but to fine him,” said Petrella, Spielberg promptly paid the €172 fine, equal to about $250.

The director, worth an estimated $3 billion, reportedly paid $360 million for the Oceanco yacht, which has two pools, a spa, and two theaters. Even the tender is lavish: It’s a 30-foot “custom limousine” built by Hodgdon Yachts in Maine and features a cabin with leather seats. It reportedly can hit a top speed of 35 mph.