top of page

Burke Anthony Beardsley

April 26, 1957 – May 15, 2021

Captain Burke Beardsley died of natural causes in his home in Napa, California, on May 15, 2021. Burke was born in Marin General Hospital to parents Ted and Harriette Beardsley and grew up in Tiburon. He attended Redwood High School in Larkspur and later Sonoma State University. Burke always had an affinity for the maritime industry and loved sailing and power boats. As a teenager, he was active in the Sea Scouts and later joined the U.S. Coast Guard. In the Coast Guard, he exhibited leadership skills during basic training and became the squad leader of 40-50 Coast Guard candidates. As a promising young U.S. Coast Guard candidate, he was given desirable duty on Maui, Hawaii, and later Traverse City, Michigan.

After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, he spent a couple of years in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was a scuba-diving instructor. Burke returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he obtained his captain’s license and worked as a captain for Hornblower Cruises in San Francisco. Burke then started his successful 32-year tenure as a captain with the Blue and Gold Fleet in San Francisco. There, he distinguished himself as a highly respected and well-regarded captain. Burke captained the largest and most modern vessels that the Blue and Gold Fleet offered including its high-speed 320 passenger jet ferries. Given Burke’s expertise, he often conducted safety and training curriculum for the Blue and Gold Fleet and was particularly fond of mentoring younger captains, fellow crew members, and other Blue and Gold Fleet personnel.

Burke Beardsley was a successful entrepreneur. He co-founded SF Bay Adventures in January 1999 based in Sausalito, which offered captain and charter services for a wide range of boats, from Boston Whalers to large Blue and Gold Ferry ships. Burke successfully grew this company and after seven years sold it in a successful mergers and acquisitions exit. Then, in April 2006, Burke founded Marine Film Works, which provides boats, crews, and marine coordination services for the film industry, including commercials, news, documentaries, and major motion pictures — Captain Burke Beardsley was the principal marine coordinator for well-known movies including Godzilla, Terminator Genisys, San Andreas, XXX: State of the Union, Bumblebee, Venom, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Twisted, and Hidalgo, and TV series Blindspotting, 13 Reasons Why, The OA, Looking, Goliath, and Nash Bridges. He was also the marine coordinator for a host of water-related sporting events and worked on Super Bowl commercials for Facebook and ads from other high profile companies.

Captain Burke Beardsley is survived by his daughter, Kelly Cook of Jacksonville, Florida, and his brother, Michael Beardsley of El Cerrito, California. A funeral mass is planned at St. Hilary Church in Tiburon on Saturday, August 7 at 10:30 a.m. followed by a reception at St. Hilary’s Tarantino Hall. Friends and those who knew Burke are invited to attend. A boat flotilla on the San Francisco Bay is being planned to occur on Monday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m. near Kirby Cove and the Marin Headlands.



Recent stories

Support The Ark’s commitment to high-impact community journalism.

The Ark, twice named the nation's best small community weekly, is dedicated to delivering investigative, accountability journalism with a mission to increase civic engagement and participation by providing the knowledge that can help sculpt the community and change lives. Your support makes this possible.

In addition to subscribing to The Ark for weekly home delivery, please consider making a contribution to support independent local journalism. For more information, contact Publisher & Advertising Director Henriette Corn at or 415-435-1190.​

bottom of page