UPDATE (5:45 P.M.): A towboat is preparing to pull the fishing vessel into deeper waters.
UPDATE (2:00 P.M.): The boat is now fully on the beach due to low tide, according to live imagery from the Atlantic City Webcam.
NBC10 is reporting that the boat’s captain fell asleep behind the wheel while the boat was on autopilot.
“You figure how many boats are out there and other ships and everything, it’s a very dangerous situation,” Chief of Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management Tom Foley told NBC10’s Ted Greenberg. “Just thank God it didn’t hit the pier,”
A fishing vessel is sitting just off the Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City this morning after running aground overnight, The Press of Atlantic City reports.
US Coast Guard Petty Officer Cindy Oldham tells the newspaper that the 56-foot “Jessica Heather” is off the Missouri Avenue beach and crews are waiting until this evening’s high tide to re-float the ship.
An investigation revealed no environmental threats, Oldham said.
Authorities have closed off a perimeter in the incident area as a precaution against the boat potentially listing to one side, which would endanger curious beachgoers, the report states.
No injuries were reported.
The Atlantic City Webcam is streaming live from the location, showing a crowd along the perimeter and authorities on the beach. In the distance, it’s business as usual, with bathers enjoying the warm ocean.