POINT PLEASANT BEACH – A 77-foot-long fishing boat, the ‘Susan Rose,’ ran aground in Point Pleasant Beach early Friday morning amid waves topping six feet high.
The ship, whose keel was lodged in the sandbar on the beach just south of Broadway, was tilted eastward at a slight angle. However, during salvage operations early Sunday morning, the ship sank. No members of the salvage crew were injured in the sinking event.
“It was about 2 in the morning and they were trying to refloat it, and while they were doing that it was under tow and it sank. There were no injuries,” said Petty Officer Matthew West, a public affairs representative for the Coast Guard. He told The Ocean Star that, prior to the ship’s sinking, all possibly hazardous materials were removed, including “oil and fuel from the vessel.”
According to the Coast Guard, the nature of the ship’s grounding is unclear, however, its crew of four were rescued without serious injury.
“At approximately 5 o’ clock this morning, [USCG Sector Delaware Bay] received a notification of a grounded fishing vessel,” said Petty Officer West on Friday. “They deployed one of our response boats; it was also in coordination with Air Station Atlantic City.”
He said that fire and first aid dive personnel from Point Pleasant Beach were able to rescue the four people without incident prior to the arrival of a rescue helicopter.
“Before the helo was able to take off, though, the fire department was on scene and was able to get all four people aboard off and onto the shore,” he said. “At this time, the cause is under investigation, and I know the owner is working with the salvage company.”
“That’s standard, usually. [The Coast Guard] will still have a role…but it would be a [private] company that handles it,” said Petty Officer West.
He also told The Ocean Star that there was no pollution caused by the ship’s grounding.
“There was no report of pollution from our pollution responders,” he said.
“Until the investigation is completed, we won’t know the exact cause” of the initial grounding, said Petty Officer West.. “There’s no clear-cut ‘this is when we’ll be done’ type of thing.”
For more on this story, read the next edition of The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.
Subscribe today! If you're not already an annual subscriber to The Ocean Star, get your subscription today! For just $38 per year, you will receive local mail delivery weekly, with pages and pages of local news and online access to our e-edition on Starnewsgroup.com.