Grounded boat breaks up, closes state park beach.

April 24, 2017
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Grounded boat breaks up, closes state park beach.

#MasonCountyNews.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP — The wreckage of a 76-foot long boat, The Tica, that ran aground near Big Point Sable last week has caused the closure of the Ludington State Park beach and has left debris along the shoreline.

After sitting aground for almost a week, the boat broke apart late last week and its contents started to float onto the beach at the Ludington State Park. The operator of the pleasure craft was on his way from Pentwater to Traverse City when the boat started taking on water on Saturday, April 15. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the operator intentionally grounded the vessel in about 3 feet of water near Big Point Sable Lighthouse. He was removed from the boat by Coast Guard personnel.

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Submitted photo

On April 21, the Coast Guard reported, in a press release, that the vessel’s superstructure had broken off with debris scattered along the shoreline in the vicinity of the grounding. The deteriorating condition of the vessel was confirmed by an overflight conducted by Air Station Traverse City, the report stated.

“Lightering operations were completed Thursday evening with a total of 70 gallons of oily water recovered from the starboard tank,” the press release went on to state. “It was determined that no fuel remained in the tank following the recovery. Coast Guard pollution responders from Grand Haven, Michigan, are on scene and overseeing the recovery operation. There are no reports of pollution.”

However, the shoreline was scattered with debris. Volunteers have been working since to clean up the beach.

“Large pieces remain, stretching far south of the grounding site, even south of the Big Sable River,” the Friends of the Ludington State Park volunteer group posted on its Facebook page.”

Sheriff Cole said his agency is not involved with the investigation of the incident but he is concerned about the impact the shipwreck will have on the public.

“”I’d hope the person(s) responsible are held accountable,” Cole said. “If the case ends up a criminal matter so be it.  I think that is a likely direction this case may go. Furthermore, our office will assist the lead investigating agency in whatever they may need.”

Cole said the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are investigating.

This story copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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