The swells involved may not have been the kind of 20- to 30-foot bashers that pummel fear into boaters confronting them at open sea. But the moderately whipped waves captured in a drone video shot at New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park recently do provide an idea of how helpless ships become when trapped in the crosshairs of the ocean’s surging power.
A drone pilot identified as SuazzOn uploaded the video of the 72-ton scallop trawler called the Bear caught between the local beach and storm-roiled waves that relentlessly battered the boat’s side over the weekend. Built in 1984, the craft’s hull descends eight feet below the deck – easily deep enough to have left the vessel aground and immobilized when the combination of howling wind and relentless surf bashed up on the sandbar. Its parallel position to the beach exposed the ship to endless incoming breakers – trapping it where it was, and unable to do anything else but suffer the thumping for over two days.
Eventually a tow boat was dispatched from Atlantic City to pull the Bear into deeper waters. But while crews on the beach waded in and attached lines to hoist the vessel back out, the tide once again shifted, creating far too much natural power for human-created machinery to overcome. And so there was nothing left to do but leave the trawler stranded where it was, and hope the storm conditions relented before the force of the battery started tearing the craft apart.
Drone video of wave-inflicted agony shot by DJI Mavic Air 2
In online exchanges with YouTube commentators, SuazzOn revealed the drone video was shot using a DJI Mavic Air 2, which was sent up – despite the gales and wave spray – as soon as the Bear was spotted in its unenviable predicament.
“(W)hen I came across this boat on the beach I sent the drone up to capture this unfortunate yet cool video,” SuazzOn wrote. “However it would not have been possible if new friend Gino B had not found my iPad which I had dropped on the beach and quickly returned to me.”
One commentator tried to clear up some of the background on how the ship had gotten into trouble.
“From what I understand, the ship lost all power on its way back in,” said Island Beach State Park local, Sagittarius 88. “The winds have been absolutely screaming from the east, so I’m not surprised that boat got blasted up on the shore. That’s going to cost someone a lot of money to get that back in the water.”
Another viewer who came across the drone video of the wave-rocked ship had a different personal link to the situation.
“Our son was on that boat sleeping when it ‘ran aground,’” posted Shelly T. “He’s lucky to be alive and stayed with the boat through all attempts to get it off the beach. His leg still needs medical attention.”
The Bear was still stuck as rescue efforts resumed Monday. Local media that had covered the ship’s wave-inflicted torment – and the drone video that captured it – suddenly halted on Tuesday, however, hopefully indicating the boat has been towed to safety. Whatever the outcome, SuazzOn can take one happy memory away from the event. That came from a comment by viewer Luis Barbosa about the pilot’s work.
“Amazing flying when I grow up I wanna be just like you,” he wrote.
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