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Anchor Gets Stuck on Bush's Boat

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DEB RIECHMANN | July 1, 2007 07:28 PM EST | AP

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KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — President Bush's presidency is stuck in low gear. On Sunday, his fishing boat was stuck on stop.

Fellow Republicans may not be rushing to rescue his legislative agenda, but the Secret Service bailed Bush out of a jam when his boat anchor got wedged in rocks along the Atlantic Coast.

Relaxing before his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president went fishing with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and daughter, Barbara.

They dropped the anchor to fish less than 100 feet from shore at Biddleford, Maine, but when they decided to leave, they couldn't, according to an Associated Press photographer who took pictures of the incident.

A fishing guide along on the trip tried unsuccessfully to pull up the heavy anchor.

Soon after, a member of the president's security detail called divers aboard a Secret Service boat that had been following behind.

The anchor was untied, and the elder Bush backed his boat, a blue-and-white craft named Fidelity III, out of the way. After a diver dove down into the chilly water, the president, nonchalantly, resumed fishing.

But he had time to cast his line just a few times. Within minutes, the diver surfaced with the anchor in hand.

Residents and vacationers renting houses along the coast gathered to watch the anchor retrieval mission.

Bush waved his hat at the crowd as his dad began steering the boat back toward the Bush family estate at Walker's Point where Putin was to arrive a few hours later.

As he waited on a driveway for the Russian leader to arrive, Bush was asked about his fishing experience.

"Lousy," he said.

But his bad day of fishing didn't stop the president from going back out on the water for a second spin in Fidelity III. About a half hour after Putin arrived, the elder Bush piled his son and the Russian president into his speedboat and took them for a fast ocean ride.