Egg Harbor Township’s riverboat is back where it belongs. The Belle Miracle Ann returned to the water in the township near the Longport-Somers Point Boulevard on Wednesday, said its owner, Leonard Dagit.
The historic riverboat, one of the South Jersey’s more unique roadside attractions, sustained damage and washed ashore after Hurricane Sandy in October. Dagit did not have a monetary figure for the damage, noting some of his other properties — including his home — were also damaged and that it was a cumulative cleanup.
Dagit had to wait for the boat, which dates to the 1920s, to be restored before it could be moved several hundred feet back onto the water at the Anchorage Poynte community.
“So far so good,” he said Thursday night, adding it was a relief to return the large vessel to the water. “A lot of people in the area will be affected by Sandy a lot longer than this.”
A large crane and excavator were used to push the boat onto the water. Dagit said they waited for a full moon and high tide so the water level would be at its highest.
“If it wasn’t (moved Wednesday), it would have been (moved) next month,” he said.
The multilevel boat was first brought to the back bays of Egg Harbor Township in 2005 by Hosrof “Sonny” Bagraduni, the Armenian-American owner of a West Atlantic City hotel. Bagraduni died in 2008 before he could renovate the vessel — then known as the Tarlan Rose — as a floating event hall.
Two years later, Dagit purchased the boat, renamed it the Belle Miracle Ann and towed it to its location near the entrance to Anchorage Poynte.
The boat’s purpose is mainly for private parties that Dagit said occur only a couple of times a year.
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