Sleeping Skipper Grounds Boat Near AC Pier: Authorities - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Sleeping Skipper Grounds Boat Near AC Pier: Authorities



    The U.S. Coast Guard is trying to find out what caused a 56foot fishing boat to crash into the beach in Atlantic City. The boat has now been moved and as NBC10's George Spencer tells us, its owner is facing a big bill. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013)

    A man piloting a fishing vessel and the rest of its crew are being questioned by the Coast Guard after the Jessica Heather was found grounded on the beach just a few hundred feet from Caesar's Pier in Atlantic City.

    The 56-foot vessel was grounded on the beach at Missouri Avenue some time between Sunday night and Monday morning, according to Chief of Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management Tom Foley.

    "You figure how many boats are out there and other ships and everything, it's a very dangerous situation," Foley said. "Just thank God it didn't hit the pier."

    While no one was hurt, officials say the boat is carrying both fuel and hydraulic oil and could have hit other ships out at sea.

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    [PHI] Tug Takes Stuck Boat Out to Sea
    A boat that ran aground in Atlantic City today was towed back out to sea as the tide came in. NBC10's Cydney Long has been following the story, and the investigation all day.
    (Published Monday, Aug. 19, 2013)

    Atlantic City Police shut down the area near the Jessica Heather and moved it to a dock along Rhode Island Avenue. 

    Both the accident and the vessel's crew are under investigation by the Coast Guard.

    "We've heard a lot of rumors," Foley said. "There were rumors about it being on autopilot and the captain being asleep. We've even had some people say they saw it coming in at 11:30 last night."

    Fishing Boat Runs Aground in AC

    [PHI] Fishing Boat Runs Aground in AC
    Quite a sight in Atlantic City today.
    (Published Monday, Aug. 19, 2013)

    None of the boats 1,000 gallons of fuel and oil leaked out.

    "The vessel didn't do any damage to the environment," said Lieutenant Eric Leese of the U.S. Coast Guard. "There wasn't any impact to the structure of the pier."

    If investigators find negligence, the ship's crew could be fined. The boat's owner is also facing a big bill. The boat tow alone may cost around $15,000. The owner may also have to reimburse Atlantic City for the extra police and lifeguard work.

    The boat has been deemed safe though its rudder and propeller were badly damaged.

    So far no one has been charged in the incident. Officials continue to investigate.