Ocean Pursuit to be removed from National Seashore

By on October 22, 2021

View of abandoned vessel on March 25, 2020. (Photo credit: NPS)
View of abandoned vessel on Oct. 19, 2021. (Photo credit: NPS)
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National Park Service

On Oct. 25, Cape Dredging, Inc. from Buxton, North Carolina will begin a $295,000 project to remove an abandoned vessel from the beach south of Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Oregon Inlet Campground. Removal of the vessel is expected to take approximately 30 days.

The former scallop boat, previously named the Ocean Pursuit and Cameron Scott, ran aground in its present location in early March 2020. It became abandoned after the National Park Service made unsuccessful attempts to have the owner claim and remove the vessel.

“The National Park Service is continuing our attempts to recover costs associated with the removal of the derelict vessel from its registered owner,” said David Hallac, superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “This process has taken longer than expected, so Cape Hatteras National Seashore determined it was necessary to use a combination of fund sources to remove the vessel before it potentially becomes more expensive to remove later and to minimize impacts to the natural environment.

Cape Dredging, Inc. will perform the following tasks to remove the vessel:
  • Remove existing sand that has accumulated around the vessel
  • Remove deck structures
  • Remove all sand and water from compartments under deck surface
  • Cut vessel into smaller, manageable pieces and transport these pieces onto a tractor trailer for removal to appropriate disposal or recycling site
  • Restore the natural shape and slope to match surrounding beach

During the project, areas around the vessel will be marked as a construction zone and all unauthorized persons should stay clear. Other than the small construction zone and minor traffic delays due to the transport of vessel pieces, there is not expected to be impacts to recreational beach access.


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  • Bobby

    Taxpayers will end up paying for all of this. The owner should be taken to court for the money and littering. This happens all the time. Maybe a follow up article on the owner and what they are going to do. Do they have insurance? other boats, still have a license? and such. This isn’t privileged information.

    Friday, Oct 22 @ 10:31 am
  • Alice Ann Hengesbach

    Thank you for looking out for our National Beach.

    Friday, Oct 22 @ 12:21 pm
  • Travis

    Could get it done a lot cheaper offering free beer to anyone who shows up with a sledgehammer or blowtorch to have a go at it.

    Friday, Oct 22 @ 3:13 pm
  • Stephanie Joy

    Travis has a great idea

    Friday, Oct 22 @ 6:34 pm
  • Stan

    Looks pretty cool. Why not leave it be?

    Friday, Oct 22 @ 7:26 pm
  • Rosie

    Agree with Bobby. Taxpayers always get stuck and I am sick of seeing this sort of junk trashing our parks and public lands. Did the owner collected on an insurance claim?

    Friday, Oct 22 @ 8:12 pm
  • C A

    Bobby brings up a great point regarding derelict vessels. Hate to pile on some poor soul who’d already gone through what was surely a harrowing ordeal.

    However you’d expect a substantive commercial vessel such as this retained an adequate insurance policy protecting against such a loss.

    In addition, registration of the vessel should be on record disclosing all pertinent information.

    What exactly is the accepted and normal maritime procedure for an accident such as this?

    I suspect answers are still out there, the questions however don’t appear to be.

    Friday, Oct 22 @ 10:05 pm
  • Currituck

    I am pretty sure Maritime law(s) apply. In that case the owner is ONLY libel up to the value of the vessel (libel the ship). Meaning that they owe nothing other than the vessel itself. The boat’s value might be $50k when it is floating and fully operable. Stuck on the beach with a cost of $50k or more to salvage…The value goes to $0, so it remains on the beach.

    That law is likely hundreds of years old and international in nature so do not look for it to change anytime soon.

    Saturday, Oct 23 @ 6:45 am
  • sandflea

    I never understood why people could have their boats wash up somewhere out here and not be responsible for getting them out and clean up. There was a large boat (40+ ft) wash up in Kitty Hawk bay about 7 or 8 years ago and it stayed there for years. People knew who the boat belonged to. Why aren’t these people held accountable for their boats? Is there some sort of “Its ok to abandon your washed-up, broken down boat” law here?

    Saturday, Oct 23 @ 8:35 am
  • Seal

    This project has the same outcome as pumping sand on the beach for the well to do beach house owners……. it has nothing to do or affect in any way the taxpayers who have to pay for it !!!!

    Saturday, Oct 23 @ 8:43 am
  • Karl

    Stan – It’s a safety issue. People are climbing all over it. Deteriorating rusty and sharp metal.

    Saturday, Oct 23 @ 11:20 am
  • hightider

    I saw this all the time in FL and agencies would squabble to pass the buck for the removal fees. Usually these were junk live-aboards illegally anchored in a river or bay near the Gulf. After a storm or just becoming unlivable (plus all their waste thrown overboard as long as it was occupied), they would be abandoned and left as eyesores and contaminants for years. Many people owned beautiful waterfront homes with a junk pile 200 feet away for their view. I have never ever heard any instance of private or commercial boat owners being made to pick up the expenses. The private owners usually could not be located or did not have a clear title, much less anything to place a lien on. Commercial owners hid behind layers of foreign documentation or US legal docs. Yep, it will be the taxpayer who foots the bill. Let’s hope this derelict is removed before someone explores and gets pulled under the shifting sand, adding to the liability.

    Sunday, Oct 24 @ 1:12 pm
  • Beach Bum Billie

    QUICK! Delete these pictures. These pics demonstrate the sea receding not rising as climate change advocates portray!!

    Thursday, Oct 28 @ 2:52 pm