By Mindy Lucas
A 60-foot-long shrimp boat tied up at a Port Royal dock sank on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
The Dream Catcher had been tied up for some time at the end of 11th Street in front of the Fish Camp restaurant when it started taking on water, Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis confirmed.
The Coast Guard, S.C. Department of Environment Health (DHEC) and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene.
The boat had about 10 gallons of diesel fuel in its tank at the time of the incident, said Chris Delcamp, with DHEC’s media relations department.
While the fuel left an unsightly sheen on the water and odor in the air, the Coast Guard determined such a small amount would not require a cleanup.
“It wasn’t substantial enough to require any type of mitigation,” Delcamp said.
Meanwhile, the Town of Port Royal is contemplating what its next move should be, Willis said when reached by phone on Monday.
A diver may be brought in to tie off the submerged boat and a skiff may be used to pick up anything that breaks apart, he said.
“We have several options and all of them are expensive,” he said.
The town manages the dock and wants to make sure the boat doesn’t do any damage to the dock or surrounding boats, he said.
Officials had tried to reach the owner but had not heard from him by press time on Monday.
“Ultimately, it’s his responsibility,” Willis said. “And he will be billed or (given a) lien for any of the costs related to removing the boat.”
In addition to the shrimp boat, Willis said they had concerns about other derelict boats at the dock and were giving the owners two weeks to remove those boats.
“This is supposed to be a working dock,” he said. “If you’re not working, you don’t need to be here.”