A tugboat working on a Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project slipped from its offshore mooring overnight and ended up hard aground on a sandbar at Lavallette, N.J., according to the Coast Guard.
The crew of four was safe. With a southeast wind around 8 knots and waves 4' to 5', efforts were underway with the 75'x25'x9.5', 3,000-hp tug Bayou Dawn from Dawn Services, New Orleans, to pull the tug off the bar. With the tide rising in mid-afternoon the Sea Cypress was freed, and headed south to Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island where the beach builders have a base at a local marina.
The Corps with contractor Weeks Marine Inc., Cranford, N.J., is in the midst of a $128 million beach replenishment project along the coast of northern Ocean County, which was hit hard by storm surge during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The project is pumping sand from borrow areas offshore to widen the beach over some 14 miles, and build engineered dunes up to 22' above mean low water to protect thousands of homes and a state highway along the barrier peninsula.