Crews begin removal process of shrimp boat on Myrtle Beach’s shores

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The shrimping boat that washed ashore in Myrtle Beach during Hurricane Ian is being removed Tuesday afternoon.

The original plan was to remove the boat on Monday during high tide, but that didn’t happen because the tide kept two smaller tug boats from making it to Myrtle Beach in time, according to MCpl. Tom Vest with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Vest explained that the tug boats will help to pull the shrimp boat back out to the ocean, and hopefully all in one piece.

“They dig a trench out to sea and then they’re going to have two other boats hooked to the line that’s wrapped around the ship right now and they’re going to pull straight back out to sea. It may not be all in one pull, it may take a couple of tries but that’s the current plan and will change as needed,” Vest said.

The captain of the boat, Kevin Benz, explained that the crew was trying to make it on Thursday to Murrells Inlet before the storm arrived but had engine issues. The Coast Guard came in to rescue four people on board the ship. The crew anchored it but Hurricane Ian’s powerful winds and storm surge brought the boat onto shore.

Myrtle Beach police and officers with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have been monitoring the boat 24/7 in order to keep people away from it. Barriers have also been put up to deter onlookers from getting too close.

One man was arrested after trying to get on the shrimp boat after it ended up in Myrtle Beach. Vest said since then no one has tried to climb on the boat.