Shrimp boat partially submerged in Shem Creek
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- It was a tough day for a Mount Pleasant shrimp boat captain who spent the day pumping water out of his boat, the 'Lady Eva'.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard says the 'Lady Eva' started taking on water at the Wando Seafood Company pier in Shem Creek around 2 a.m.
There was one person living on the boat, but they escaped without injury when the vessel began to sink. Coast Guard officials are monitoring the situation for possible pollution.
"We boomed the vessel right now, which is what you see around the vessel and it's a product that contains oil or petroleum products. Anything that escapes from the vessel once it's under the water line," said Petty Officer Sean Hawes, United States Coast Guard. "Once it's above the water line, we wait for low tide to approximately 2:00 and then we start pumping. That way the gunnels or the side rails on the vessel were above the water line, so it gives us an opportunity to pump water off and see if we can raise the vessel."
With five pumps along with lots of manual labor, the boat was raised several feet Wednesday afternoon.
Roughly 2,500 gallons of water per minute were being pumped off the boat but until all the water is gone, they won't know what caused this boat to sink in the first place.
The boat is captained and partially owned by Rocky Magwood.
Magwood says this is a devastating blow to his business after what was already a tough shrimping season.
"It's just heartbreaking to look back at something you've worked so hard to keep going this year and with all the struggles we've already had," he said. "Now we have another hill to go over."It's been such a difficult season for local shrimpers, Magwood said they had to go so far as to swap shrimp to pay the fuel bills and money for upkeep on the boats is hard to come by."This is a big hit," said Magwood. "I don't know if I'll be able to overcome this or not."