The 78-foot Bald Eagle II grounded in rough seas near Duck, N.C., as the Graveyard of the Atlantic laid claim to another fishing vessel incident on Tuesday, Dec. 7, on the heels of several East Coast groundings the week before.

The Coast Guard announced on Wednesday, Dec. 15, that it had completed salvage efforts of the foundered trawler, in tandem with state and local partners.

At 3:10 p.m. the tugboat John Joseph, refloated the vessel and prepared it for tow, with the assistance of Ocean Rescue. Shortly after 4 p.m. the vessels began their journey to Newport News, Va., for repairs.

The vessel owner also contracted Moran Environmental Recovery to facilitate the removal of hazardous substances prior to the towing operation. Overall, 6,500 gallons of diesel fuel and 1,000 gallons of oily water mixture were removed from the trawler, according to the Coast Guard.

Rescue Operations

The Coast Guard airlifted four crew members from the Bald Eagle II off Southern Shores, N.C., after receiving a distress call from the captain at about 7:30 on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

“The water temperature near Southern Shores is currently 56 degrees, which is dangerous had these four men not been prepared,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Hall, operations unit controller for Sector North Carolina. “Fortunately, these men were wearing survival suits to prevent hypothermia when our rescue helicopter arrived.”

All crew onboard were wearing survival suits, according to the Coast Guard. No injuries were reported.

The shrimp trawler Jonathan Ryan grounded at Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Monday, Nov. 29. Just a few weeks ago, the scalloper Ocean Pursuit had to be taken apart and removed from the beach after more than 18 months of settling into the sand on a strip of coast known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 16 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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