The Coast Guard and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company LLC were working to recover a barge that capsized Wednesday off Surfside Beach, S.C., on the first day of a beach replenishment project.

The 12-mile project from Surfside Beach to Myrtle Beach, S.C., is planned to pump 1.4 million cu. yds. of sand. Great Lakes Dredge had vessels deployed and dredge pipe stockpiled on the beach for the Aug. 15 start.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the Charleston, S.C., command center received a National Response Center report that an unmanned 30’ construction barge had capsized.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was launched from Charleston, and the Coast Guard station at Georgetown, S.C., launched a crew on a 29’ response boat-small. There were no injuries or pollution reported in the incident.

The company was working with the Coast Guard and state to salvage the barge and watch for potential hazards. The Coast Guard broadcast a marine alert asking other vessels to stay clear during those operations.

The beach project is part of an additional $29 million the Corps of Engineers is spending to widen beaches along South Carolina’s Grand Strand, a continuation of emergency work after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 damaged the resort area and eroded beaches.

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.