Mantéo, North Carolina – An abandoned ship that has attracted explorers and photographers since it was first beached over a year ago will ultimately be removed – the process starting just in time for Halloween.
Originally, most of the old scallop, named Ocean Pursuit and Cameron Scott, was visible along the shore. However, after being left to rust, it slowly sank into the sand along the beach south of the Oregon Inlet Campground in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Today, more than half are buried.
The haunting 72-foot-long wreck became a popular lure for tourists after it ran aground in March 2020. The crew were rescued by the US Coast Guard.
The National Park Service has warned people to stay away. Exploring the ship is dangerous, they warned, due to the unstable sand moving underneath. Additionally, although the wreck is visible at low tide, it becomes completely surrounded by the ocean at high tide.
Officials must remove the ship before it disappears under the sand.
The move, which is expected to cost around $ 295,000, is expected to begin Oct. 25 and last for about a month.
The National Park Service made unsuccessful attempts to get the owner to claim and remove the vessel.
Cape Dredging, Inc. says the project will include:
- Remove existing sand from around the vessel
- Remove bridge structures
- Remove all sand and water from compartments below deck
- Cut the vessel into smaller, manageable pieces and transport these pieces on a tractor trailer for removal to an appropriate disposal or recycling site
- Restore the natural shape and slope to match the surrounding beach
“The National Park Service continues to work to recover the costs associated with removing the abandoned vessel from its registered owner,” said David Hallac, director of national parks for eastern North Carolina. “This process took longer than expected, so Cape Hatteras National Seashore determined that it was necessary to use a combination of funding sources to remove the vessel before it became potentially more expensive to remove later and to minimize the impact on the natural environment. “
Areas around the ship will be marked as a construction zone, and authorities are warning all visitors to stay away from the area. Authorities do not expect there to be a major impact on recreational beach areas.