BAY HEAD — Holiday weekend beachgoers were surprised when an unpiloted sailboat drifted into shore, riding waves and crashing into the sand at Johnson Street Beach on Sunday.
The boat floated all the way from Long Island, New York, where it had been moored before becoming loose days before, Bay Head Police Chief William Hoffman told The Ocean Star.
“It was an unmanned sailboat that had broken off its mooring in Breezy Point, New York, a couple days prior, so it had been floating out there on its own,” the chief said. “It just picked Bay Head to come ashore and ride a couple of waves in.”
The chief said that sunbathers and responders alike were perplexed by the boat at first, as it seemed to sail directly toward the shoreline.
“Everyone saw it coming and didn’t really know what was going on, but we figured out pretty quick that there was nobody on it,” he said. “It was literally riding waves in before it turned sideways and got beached.”
The Bay Head Improvement Association’s lifeguards and a police officer joined Sea Tow, a marine towing company, in helping get the boat safely ashore.
The chief said lifeguards ran out and tied a line to the boat so it could be towed away by Sea Tow.
“Evidently, Sea Tow was made aware of it a couple of days before because they knew it was missing but [Bay Head] was where it happened to pop up,” Chief Hoffman said.
There were no injuries, and the boat was towed away within a few hours.
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