SOMERS POINT — An abandoned boat that had been trapped on the marsh here for a decade was removed Feb. 1 by a team of volunteers from the Patcong Creek Foundation and the Great Egg Harbor River Council.
The 15-foot fiberglass, skiff-type vessel was estimated to weigh more than 1,000 pounds. It had been stuck in the marsh near the corner of Route 9 and Somers Point Mays Landing Road, and was especially visible during extreme high tides, organizers said.
Gregory Gregory, of Somers Point, chairman of the Great Egg Harbor River Council, investigated having it towed. But the cost was prohibitive, so it became a volunteer effort, according to organizers.
The volunteers lifted the boat from the mud using long steel poles and placed it on PVC pipe to help roll the boat up the hill. They used armpower and a towline from a 4x4 all-terrain vehicle with a winch, provided by Tom Dati, of Egg Harbor Township.
Once the boat was out of the marsh, the volunteers had to pull it along the roadway on PVC pipe. In all, the boat was towed and pushed for about a hundred feet until it was on level ground where it was left for pickup, organizers said.
From there, it was picked up by the city and taken to the ACUA landfill, where it was disposed of at no charge, organizers said.
Volunteers from the Great Egg Harbor River Council were Gregory, Fred Akers, of Newtonville in Buena Vista Township; Brian Camp, of Corbin City; and Paul Ludgate, of Somers Point. From the Patcong Creek Foundation were volunteers Dati, Jason Breslau, of Sicklerville in Camden County; and Lisa Bender, of Somers Point.
“It was inspiring to witness the teamwork involved,” said Bender, the foundation’s executive director. “We hope to continue working together to keep our waterways clean and to educate the community about the Patcong Creek and Great Egg Harbor River, our locally important natural resources.”