Article from: Ocean City Sentinel-Ledger, FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 1980

The Sentinel Ledger, Friday, August 15, 1980 (Sentinel Ledger Newspaper) Archives: Pages 57 and 64 of 143

The 150 foot barge that broke from its mooring early Tuesday morning and ripped our nearly 75 feet of the Ocean City Fishing Pier caused an estimated $100,000 in damage, according to a knowledgeable spokesman. The spokesman, who asked not to be identified, said that the damage figure was a very rough estimate and the insurance bond for the project would cover the damage.
Kenneth Holmstrup, the onsite coordinator for the Cape May County Municipal (CMCMUA), could not confirm the damage figure but insurance adjustor would have the figure soon. Holmstrup also requested that Carl Tylks, resident engineer for Pandullo Quirk Associated (PQA), a construction firm that oversees the land and marine construction to reviews the safety procedures around barges that are moored just off the shore. I expect a prompt reply. He said. The authority wants to cooperate in any way possible, Holmstrup explained, to have the fishing pier reconstructed quickly as possible. According to Holmstrup, a 1 inch steel deck cable, parted, letting loose two barges, one 50 feet long and the other 150 foot barge that struck the pier. Holmstrup said that the high winds and rough seas caused the break between 2:30 and 3 am. According to the MUA official and witnesses the barge struck the pier about 6 am and took roughly 45 minutes to break the 75 foot section. Holmstrup said the MUA had tried to have a tug boat retrieve the runaway barge, but because of the rough waves, the tug couldn t get to the vessel before the damage was done.
Divers were then used to attach towlines to the barge which was then towed with a 42 foot MUA engineering boat used during inspection of the construction on the 9 million outfall line, Holmstrup said. The two barges were among several that bring the stone and pipe used in the construction up from Maryland, he said.
The 14th street and 15th street beaches were closed until noon Wednesday so crews could clear away the debris. The fishing pier has stood at that location since 1962, when a severe winter storm had wiped it out and an older one in March of that year. The fishing club itself has been in existence since 1913.

Ocean City Fishing Club records of the barge accident.

On August 12, 1980 at about 2:00AM, the Ocean City police notified us that two barges broke away from the Outfall project at 46th street and had struck the south side of our pier. Southwest winds increased on a rising tide, and after about six hours 125 feet of our pier pilings and walkway were destroyed, littering the beach. The barge contractor (Spencer, White, and Prentice) acknowledged responsible for the damage and contracted a rebuilding program. This was started on August 20 and was completed by mid November, except the railings. Other expenses plus the loss of use continued. The Club appreciated the help from Mayor of Ocean City, Mayor B. Wimberg, and other local and state officers for their cooperation, guidance, and assistance in the reconstruction.

The newspaper article had several pictures. The attached pictures are from our OCFC picture file.

All pictures and photography copyright © Fishing Club, Ocean City, NJ. All rights reserved.

Clicking on a small thumbnail picture will reveal a larger picture.

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