PLEASURE BOAT SINKS IN SURF OFF 93RD ST. BEACH
Long Beach Township Police responded to the Beach at 93rd Street in the Peahala Park section of Long Beach Township at 9:50 Sunday night – July 26, 2009 – on a report from the US Coast Guard that 4 people had abandoned a pleasure boat which was breaking up in the surf. Upon arrival, Ptl. Mark Stanish, Special Officer Dan Petrone and Sgt. Chuck Schnell observed a wooden pleasure craft, approximately 32 foot in length floundering in the surf and shore break off of 93rd Street. They were able to determine that the four passengers had safely made it to shore.
The vessel, a 1965 “Tiffany” , owned and operated by Joseph Summer, age 48, of Arbutus Avenue in Staten Island NY, had left Great Hill Staten Island earlier in the day with a stop over in Belmar. Mr. Summer reported that he and his brother John Summer of Worcester Rd in Stowe Vermont, along with his two nieces, ages 15 and 11, left Belmar at approximately 3 pm and were in route to Atlantic City when the steering malfunctioned at approximately 9 pm. Mr. Summer reported that he was between ½ and ¾ of a mile offshore at this time and notified the US Coast Guard of his problem. He indicated that he attempted to set anchor and await the Coast Guard for assistance when he noticed that the vessel was taking on water. Mr. Summer determined the vessel was in danger of capsizing and deployed a self inflating 6 person Zodiac life raft.
Mr. Summer, his brother and his two nieces came ashore in the life raft while the vessel, named “Captain’s Choice” drifted towards the beach and began breaking apart in the waves.
The US Coast Guard Station, Barnegat Light was on scene as well as the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company, the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company and the Beach Haven First Aid Squad. The vessel completely broke up in the surf with debris scattering the beaches for approximately 20 blocks north of 93rd Street. The Long Beach Township DPW responded to clean up the boat debris along the beach. The Long Beach Township Health Department and the DEP were notified of the incident as well due to the approximately 80 gallons of diesel fuel that was reported on board prior to the boat sinking and breaking up. A strong odor of diesel fuel could be detected for several blocks until dissipated in the wind.
Mr. Summer has contracted a boat salvage company to respond at daylight Monday morning to salvage what may be left of the hull of the vessel.