ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The tides come in and go out in Atlantic Highlands harbor. And each tide sets rocking a wooden boat that sits on the stones along the Seastreak pier.
On the evening of March 21st, an aerial truck from the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department extended its ladder and bucket to the deck of the boat and two people were safely removed from the vessel that had been pushed by high winds and waves into the stone pier. The two people removed from the boat have yet to be named by officials.
On April 1st, Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor Manager, John Amici, said he has not yet talked with the vessel owner but will reach out to them. He would not say who that is.
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The United States Coast Guard Pollution Team supervised its contractor in the removal of oil and fuel from the vessel the weekend of March 26, according to Coast Guard Spokesman Chris Klarmann. He said, “the Incident Management Team is monitoring” There is no report of a sheen, he said.
The unidentified vessel owner spoke with a contractor a week ago about towing it off the rocks. The towing contractor, who preferred not to be identified, said the vessel operator “made a couple bad decisions. I wasn’t going to make another one” by pulling the wooden vessel out into the open water where it might sink.
The towing contractor estimates it would cost $8,000-$10,000 to bring in a crane and operator, flat bed truck, and harnessing crew. Even then, the wooden boat after this much time, might break when lifted.
The boat, JO-LYN IV, built in 1958 has “New York City, New York” printed on its stern. It is 38.1 feet long and 12.5 feet wide, according to a registry.
Karl P. Conley is listed as a previous owner in U.S. Coast Guard data hosted by NOAA. Elizabeth Conley, of Long Island, wrote in an email, “It was “documented” in my late husbands name, but hasn’t been for the last 20 years. The boat has been registered to another person for the last 20 years. A third party bought the boat in September 2015 and the grand old lady is currently registered to his name.” In a subsequent email she said she did not know the new owner, but her son, John, had sold the boat in September 2015.
Atlantic Highlands Police did not return calls left on Friday.
New Jersey State Police spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Williams said the owner could be subject to a summons if the boat were to become dislodged and was a navigational hazard, but that is not currently the case.
Seastreak which leases the pier on which the boat is resting could not be reached for comment.