Sunday, November 16, 2008

Beached Kiawah Boat no Stranger to USCG

KIAWAH ISLAND — United States Coast Guard Sector Charleston has reported the 78-foot scallop boat Nanami, homeported in Pennsauken, N.J., aground on Friday November 14, 2008. The vessel washed up near the east beach on Kiawah Island. S.C., after its anchor chain broke Thursday evening.

The two crewmembers aboard, Greg Cooper, 52, of Cape May, N.J., and Nora Kim, 47, of Pennsauken, are safe and remained aboard through a stormy Friday night.

Photo: USCG Sector Charleston, South Carolina

The boat is no stranger to the Coast Guard as they had previously towed the 78-foot fishing vessel off of Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Tuesday, Nov. 4 amid heavy wind and seas. There were three people aboard at the time and the salvage operation involved three Coast Guard cutter and one motor life boat.

During the first tow, a 47-foot motor life boat crew from Station Hatteras Inlet located the vessel and remained on scene until the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous arrived to perform the tow early on November 4th.

"The (life boat) crew was in 20 foot seas and 40 knot winds. They departed the unit at 10 Tuesday night and did not return to the station until 8:30 Wednesday morning," said Chief Petty Officer Erik J. Watson, executive petty officer of Station Hatteras Inlet.

The Vigorous crew transferred the Nanami to the Coast Guard Cutter Block Island on Wednesday who towed it to the Cape Fear River.

While in the river, the crew of the Nanami was able to start the engines after determining that the cause of the casualty was bad fuel. The Block Island escorted Nanami to the mouth of the river, where a boat crew from Station Oak Island met and took over escorting the Nanami to Southport Marina in Southport, N.C., Thursday.

A week later the Nanami suffered engine trouble again and dropped anchor off of Folly beach on Thursday November 14, 2008. Wave action and wind was strong when the anchor chain departed the vessel and she went adrift, eventually beaching at Kiawah Island.

The boat's owners, with Coast Guard oversight, will attempted to re-float the vessel as Saturday but high winds and wave made the progress hazardous. The vessel has 400 gallons of diesel fuel on board and would be a pollution hazard if left on the beach.

It's the second time the Coast Guard has gone to the aid of the Nanami on this trip. The boat became disabled off Cape Hatteras on its way south from New Jersey and was towed to Southport, N.C., by two Coast Guard cutters.

The salvage crew will try again Sunday at high tide.

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