‘Ocean Pursuit’ shipwreck removal remains high priority, seashore says

F/V Ocean Pursuit sits fully beached north of Oregon Inlet on April 12, 2020. [photo courtesy National Park Service]

It’s been a year since the “Ocean Pursuit,” a commercial scallop boat, wrecked in Oregon Inlet. The 73-foot-long steel-hull ship ran into shallow water along the northern edge of the navigation channel on March 1, 2020 and the crew had to be airlifted to safety by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

Since then, the Ocean Pursuit has become a local attraction as it slowly sinks deeper and deeper into the beach about a half-mile south of Cape Hatteras National Seashore Ramp 4 on what’s known as the Bodie Island Spit. (If you’re going looking for the wreck, park in the Ramp 4 lot just north of the Marc Basnight Bridge and walk about a half-mile south on the beach).

In the days after the vessel ran aground, its owners told the Coast Guard and National Park Service they were working on a plan to remove it. One year later, nothing has been done.

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“Cape Hatteras National Seashore repeatedly requested the responsible party develop a plan to remove the abandoned vessel. The responsible party has not responded to these requests,” said Michael Barber, spokesman for the National Park Service Outer Banks Group.

“The seashore is currently working on obtaining funding for the removal of the vessel. If the seashore removes the vessel, the National Park Service will seek to recover the costs and damages associated with the grounding incident from the responsible party under the System Unit Resource Protection Act,” Barber said in an email.

The park service has no timeframe for removal, “but it remains a high priority,” Barber said.

A search of NOAA records found the Ocean Pursuit was most recently registered with the Coast Guard as the “Cameron Scott” hailing from Newport News. Specifics about the ship’s owner were not available.


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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com