WEST TRENTON — New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau is advising boaters of myriad new hazards on the waters, and attempting to reunite owners with their lost vessels in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Sandy.
The record breaking flooding radically changed the topography of many shore area boating routes. The Army Corps of Engineers will eventually re-map the waterways, but until then, boaters must know that they should proceed with extreme caution. Some areas shown on maps as 18 feet deep are now sandbars, and numerous hazards have been deposited in commonly used channels, including sunken vessels.
“The Central Jersey shore waterways, as shown on most marine maps, no longer exist. Boaters need to be aware of submerged obstacles and debris and adjust their travels as if they are on uncharted waters,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the State Police and Director of the State Office of Emergency Management.
Another major challenge is the large number of boats ripped from moorings and docks and deposited all over. The Marine Services Bureau is locating and cataloging displaced vessels on the state’s waterways, particularly in the coastal areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. Troopers are building a database of such boats that includes registration numbers and descriptions. Boat owners or insurance companies attempting to locate a lost or abandoned vessel should contact the State Police Point Pleasant Station between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 1-732-899-5051.