70 feet to pull water in Maine, brought to NH


to play

KITTERY, Maine – A salvage operation is scheduled for Thursday to raise and bring ashore the “TOO Elusive,” a 70-foot Marlow yacht that was destroyed by fire and sank June 18 near Wentworth Marina in NewCastle.

The fire and the experience of the three people on board the yacht jumping into the water with their two dogs has drawn the attention of boaters and Seacoast residents. A local lobster boatman rescued them as smoke was visible for miles around.

The scorched yacht drifted into Maine waters, sinking in about 80 feet of water about a mile south of buoy K2R where it has since remained, authorities said.

Here’s an update and preview of what interested boaters and residents can expect:

How are the yacht owners doing?

“It’s one of the saddest days of our lives,” said Arthur “Kitt” Watson, one of the yacht’s owners. “We want everyone in the area to know that we are so sorry this happened.”

Kitt, 66, his wife Diane, 57, and Jarrod Tubbs, 33, their longtime friend and companion aboard the “Elusive”, lost not only the yacht, but also their home. They lived on the boat with their two Goldendoodle dogs, Palma and Nancy.

The family and the dogs escaped hell by jumping into the water. They were rescued by the local Good Samaritans.

“Like a fire-breathing dragon”: Yacht fire survivors terrified before jumping into water

What time will the yacht salvage operation take place?

Kittery Harbor Master John Brosnihan said it will start on Thursday June 30 at first light around 5:30 a.m. If necessary, the operation could continue on Friday July 1. The schedule could change depending on the weather and waves.

“The salvage company, Riverside and Pickering Marine Contractors, carried out preparatory work this week,” he said. “They brought divers down and determined the position of the boat and created a plan to bring it up.”

How will the yacht be moved and where will it go?

Kitt Watson has hired a local commercial salvage company to survey the wreck site and develop a salvage plan to lift the remains of the ship and ensure any further environmental impact is mitigated.

Lieutenant Commander Ryan Koroknay, public affairs officer for the Coast Guard’s Northern New England Sector, said the yacht weighed 110,000 pounds or less.

“It’s hard to pinpoint because the boat caught fire,” he said. “The hull’s fiberglass resin can feel like a sponge when burned and can pick up water, so there’s an unknown there.”

Coastal news: Download the Seacoastonline mobile app and the Fosters.com mobile app to stay connected.

Significant preparation is required for the rescue operation.

“Rigging, preparations are underway,” Kokornay said Wednesday. “Staging is underway. Cranes, barges, divers are ready to go. We will have skimmers and about 1,000 boom feet ready to handle any diesel fuel spills. I think the plan is good and took into account all the eventualities that we can anticipate. There are always unknowns, and hopefully we won’t have any problems.”

Floating bags, which Brosnihan compared to giant balloons, will be attached to the yacht by divers. They will be inflated and the boat brought to the surface.

“They’ll float it in shallower water,” Koroknay said. “Side towing barges will help with this. A crane will be used to put the boat on a barge.”

The barge will bring “the Elusive” to Riverside and Pickering Marine Contractors to Newton.

Amber Lagace, spokeswoman for the New Hampshire State Police, said the yacht will remain there, for now, as evidence in the ongoing investigation by New Hampshire authorities, the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Kokornay said he anticipates it will be an all-day operation.

Watson said the cost won’t be known until the surgery is complete and he works with his insurer on coverage.

Child care at the shipyard: 47 Portsmouth Dockyard families lose custody of their children. This military policy is the reason.

What do we know about the position of the yacht and any fuel leaks?

According to a Maine Department of Environmental Protection statement, a hydrographic and survey team “found the remains of the vessel to be standing on her stern/transom with the bow straight. This was considered a dangerous salvage operation due to the positioning of the wreckage and the associated stability issues associated with the depths and currents divers must operate in. Diesel fuel was also found to leak slowly and create a light/variable sheen that was determined to be non-recoverable and would evaporate and dissipate.

Local Coast Guard vessels continued to monitor the vessel’s last known position and, due to prevailing sea conditions, no larger bursts were immediately apparent, officials said.

On Friday, June 24, a professional dive team used a remotely operated underwater vehicle to take high-resolution digital images of the wreckage to determine connection points and assess the location of fuel tanks.

Coast Guard and Kittery Harbor Master Brosnihan reported at one point seeing a faint burst of diesel fuel near the wreckage site which was again determined to be unsalvageable and was evaporating and dissipating . No shoreline impacts were reported Wednesday.

Independence Day celebrations: Here is a list of 4th of July fireworks, events in Seacoast NH and Southern Maine for 2022

What should local boaters expect? A security perimeter

Kittery sent a notice from harbor master to local residents, asking boaters to stay out of the water in the area of ​​the removal. Brosnihan said it was for the safety of divers and crew working in the area.

“There will be a 200 meter radius around work areas at all times,” Koroknay said. “There are concerns for everyone’s safety and we cannot let any other boats try to approach. There will be law enforcement on site, ensuring the perimeter is secure.”

Crews from the Coast Guard, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and Maine Department of Environmental Protection continue to monitor the situation and will be on site during the removal operation. Also involved are Maine Marine Patrol, Riverside and Pickering Marine, and Portsmouth American Ecologythe environmental company contracted to do any cleaning if necessary.

“It’s a team effort, with private, state, local and federal agencies involved,” Kokornay said. “There are many stakeholders, and I would like to acknowledge everyone’s efforts to work together on this delicate and complex operation.”

NOAA Releases Environmental Facts About Diesel Fuel

A science support coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided the following facts about diesel fuel to address public concerns:

* When spilled in open, unconfined water, most diesel will evaporate or disperse naturally within days. Under these conditions, there is rarely surface oil for responders to recover. This is especially true for typical spills from a 500 to 5,000 gallon vessel, even in cold water.

* Diesel is not very sticky or viscous compared to black oils. When small spills wash up on shore, the oil tends to penetrate the porous sediments quickly, but it is also washed away quickly by waves and tides. Thus, shoreline cleanup may not be necessary for small spills.

*Diesel fuel is a contaminant of concern due to its known aquatic toxicity in marine environments, but given the magnitude of this spill and the fact that it occurred in open water, fish kills are very high. unlikely.

*Since diesel fuel dissipates relatively quickly on the surface, adverse effects on birds are also very unlikely.

Previous Regeneration Report Highlights Eight Stories of Community-Led Equitable Renewal
Next Series of Mistakes Led to Fuel Poisoning of Pearl Harbor Water, Says Navy Report