We’re a bit backlogged with news since the blizzard hit, obviously, but with plows hitting the street we can get back to non-snow related information.
One of the boats that graced Sheepshead Bay’s piers for decades has sunk off the coast of New Jersey while in route to a new home in New Orleans, leaving its owner presumed dead and another in critical condition.
On Thursday, December 23, eight-foot-tall waves and winds that reached 29-knots tore apart the Sea Wolf, a 65-footer that previously catered to the porgy and bass fishing crowd in our neighborhood. Cape May and Indian River Coast Guard stations sent out motor life boats and a rescue helicopter was dispatched from Atlantic City after an emergency satellite beacon sounded at 1:35 a.m.
Sixty-two-year old Gregory Arlotta had recently purchased the vessel for considerably less than the boat was appraised for from local owner Eddie Moraski, who had sold it after breaking his hip.
The accident’s lone survivor, Steve Hopkins, was taken to Atlanticare Regional Medical Center, while new owner Arlotta is said to have been “floating face down and unresponsive” before sinking with the debris, though there were several attempts by rescue swimmers to grab a hold of him.
Arlotta had planned to take the boat to New Orleans. According to Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lindberg, the Coast Guard did not receive any mayday calls. They were first notified by State Police.
It remains unknown what caused Sea Wolf to sink, though area fisherman and Fishing United website owner Steve Cannizzo speculates that smoke coming out its stacks prior to them gearing it back may have indicated a problem as they were leaving Sheepshead Bay on Wednesday morning.
Apparently there were some undercover enforcement officials, posing as average fishermen, aboard the Sea Wolf fishing boat this morning when it set sail. By afternoon, when the boat was coming into the bay, strollers enjoying the gorgeous Mother’s Day weather were surprised by what appeared to be not just an investigation, but a Dateline episode chronicling this fish tale.
New limits set just recently on the number and size of fish that can be pulled out of the waters are currently being challenged, because of the hardship it places on the local Sheepshead Bay recreational fishing industry.
Stay tuned to Sheepshead Bites for news about this incident as it breaks. Readers who witnessed any of the activities on Emmons Avenue, this afternoon, and have any information or photographs are invited to send them in.
Here is an excerpt of the news as we received it from the SB/PB:
Approximately 10 DEC Enforcement cars pulled up to the Sheepshead Bay Piers on Mother’s Day to summons two fishermen who allegedly kept fish under the federally-regulated size limit, or “shorts”, after a day of fishing on the Sea Wolf. The coordinated raid, called in by undercover officers on board the Sea Wolf, resulted in summonses for two anglers wiho allegedly caught a total of two illegal fish. DEC Enforcement were accompanied by a cameraman from DateLine NBC, who claims that it will be airing a segment about the raid on next Sunday’s edition. No one from the general public or the fishing community was interviewed.
Flickr’s erinmelina dropped this beautiful shot into the Gowanus Lounge photo pool. The sight of the fishing boats docked at sunrise/sunset is quite a doozy, and one of the reasons I love living in the bay. Too bad it won’t be around much longer.