A 36.5-foot sailboat that washed ashore on Norton Point July 5 is finally off the beach after a week of removal efforts, and Edgartown police reported that several people who stripped the boat of its contents have returned the items.
Edgartown police Det. Sgt. Christopher Dolby told the Gazette this week that Running Free, the sailboat belonging to Bill Heldenbrand, 67, of St. Joseph, Mo., was pulled off the beach last Friday. During an attempted transatlantic voyage, Mr. Heldenbrand encountered a severe storm and was forced to abandon his boat between Florida and Bermuda.
Running Free, a 36-and-a-half foot sailboat that ran aground at Norton Point beach on Friday, was still languishing on the beach nearly a week later after salvage and refloating efforts failed. Meanwhile, visitors to the site were reported to be stripping the boat of its contents as it remained lodged in its sandy berth, prompting the Edgartown police to open an investigation Thursday.
Running Free, a 36-and-a-half foot sailboat that ran aground at Norton Point beach on Friday, was still languishing on the beach Wednesday morning after salvage and refloating efforts failed. Meanwhile, visitors to the site were reported to be stripping the boat of its contents.
Salvage plans are under way for an abandoned 36-and-a-half-foot sailboat that washed up at Norton Point beach on Friday night.
No one was aboard the Running Free, which was abandoned in the Bermuda Triangle on Mother’s Day.
The 84-foot fishing boat Kris & Amy grounded two miles east of East Chop on Hedge Fence Shoal on Monday afternoon and required the attention of several salvage firms to free her last night.
Senior Chief Jamey Kinney of Coast Guard Sector Woods Hole said that a call came in from the vessel at 12:55 p.m. that she had run aground in 11 feet of water. Coast Guard Station Woods Hole responded. The vessel, a sea scalloper with a blue hull and white superstructure, remained stuck through the afternoon.
The luxury steamship The City of Columbus sleeps deep in the shifting sands at the edge of Devil's Bridge, about a mile from the Gay Head Cliffs. The 275-foot vessel sank more than a century ago in one of the worst maritime disasters to occur in Vineyard waters, and last Sunday, on a clear autumn morning, three divers went down to see her for the first time.
Buried mostly, the ship is a shadow of herself, and only a few on the waterfront know precisely where she sits.
A mile and a half off East Chop, 50 feet down, is a 380-foot World War I British freighter laden with motorcycles, steel billets, railroad car wheels, candles and clothes, still waiting patiently for delivery to the front lines in France. It is the Port Hunter and for photographer and anthropologist Sam Low it was a teenage playground.
“We lived on the wreck,” he said. “We swam underneath and into the furthest reaches of the ship. It was a little like being the only visitors allowed in a cathedral.”