ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The wooden Chris-Craft pleasure boat was trapped against the rocks in high winds with waves crashing around it. Two people on the vessel were shaken, but uninjured, when rescue personnel took them off the bow of the boat in an aerial bucket extended from the Seastreak pier in the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor on a cold March 21st night.
The vessel, JO-LYN IV, was built in 1958 and is registered in New York. It is 38.1 feet long and 12.5 feet wide, according to an online registry.
The boat was in the Conley family for 38 years until it was sold in September 2015. Elizabeth Conley, of Long Island, wrote in an email, “I’m aware the jerk who bought the boat from my son abandoned her, and now Jo-Lyn IV is foundering on the rocks…not the end we imagined for her.”
According to police, Peter Welchman, Avenue of the Americas, NYC, NY is now the registered owner of the vessel. “He (owner) doesn’t have the funds to take care of the boat”, said Captain David Rossbach. Mr. Welchman spent a week here trying to resolve the problem then abandoned the vessel and left for Texas, according to Capt. Rossbach. The town is making plans to remove the boat.
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Asked if the town will remove the vessel and bill the owner, Borough Administrator Adam Hubeny wrote, “We are still working through that,” He said, “We are looking at a 4-5K bill which we are not prepared to take on at this point in time.”
A towing contractor, who spoke with the owner last month about removing the boat estimated it would cost between $8-10,000 to remove the vessel by trailer.
The story is picking up interest in the New York media market as well. Mr. Hubeny was interviewed by WCBS Channel 2 News today about the boat.