Barge to remove sunken yacht from Myrtle Beach marina

Sinking yacht
The yacht was brought upright Monday morning. Source: WBMF Reporter Brennan Somers.
The yacht was brought upright Monday morning. Source: WBMF Reporter Brennan Somers.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Crews are working to remove a yacht at a Myrtle Beach marina that started to sink early Saturday morning, officials with the Department of Natural Resources confirmed.

Nate Hutson with DNR said the boat started to sink at about 2 a.m. Saturday at the Osprey Marina and Grill in Myrtle Beach. There was a fuel leak on the boat, he said, but it was contained and there was minimal, if any, damage to marine life.

The Coast Guard contracted the removal of any fuel from the 65-foot vessel Monday, officials confirmed in a news release. The Wanderer was found partially submerged at the pier and was actively sheening diesel fuel.

The responsible party tried to lessen the spread of pollution to the waterways by deploying an absorbent boom around the vessel and dock, the Coast Guard release states. An Horry County Fire and rescue towboat recovered or removed seven 55-gallon drums and two 50-gallon fuel tanks from the yacht. The owner confirmed there were no other fuel sources on board.

All residual pollutants remain contained within the boom and are being recovered with absorbent padding.

A private salvage company was hired and worked Sunday and Monday morning to get the yacht upright.

The yacht was righted Monday, and a barge with a crane was brought in Monday afternoon to try to get the boat out of the water. The barge will try to stabilize the yacht Monday night. The leader of the operation told WMBF News that they will try to raise the boat Tuesday morning.

The boat's owner said four crew members were on board with the boat took on water, they are safe but he owner said he has some questions about what caused the vessel to sink.

"Trying to find out if it was crew negligence or boat damage," said Stelios Hiotis who bought the boat at auction after it was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

However, Hiotis will not get any answers until at least Tuesday as crews try and lift the boat out of the water.

"Hopefully we can lift it out of the water and see where the leak was and if there was any damage," added Hiotis.  '"We'll fix it and continue on to Boca Raton."

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