Posted by: mcjangles | June 20, 2009

Beth Dee Bob


A crew member of a clamming boat died and three men were missing last night when their 84-foot boat foundered in rough seas and sank in the Atlantic 13 miles off Manasquan, N.J., the Coast Guard said.

One of the vessel’s owners, Daniel LaVecchia, said the boat, the Beth Dee Bob, appeared to have been swamped by 8- to 10-foot waves so vicious that a Coast Guard rescue boat had to turn back. ~NY TIMES Jan. 7th 1999

Dove the Beth Dee Bob for the first time today with a group from The Scuba Connection off the Independence II.  The seas were nice long period glassy swells as we headed out to this clammer that sits in 120 fsw about 15 miles out of Manasquan, and was one of several victims of a stormy January in 1999.  This “Winter of Disaster” was even the subject of the History Channel’s Deep Sea Detectives.

I jumped with the ball to tie in and was glad I had the line in my hand as the surface vis was about zero.  However, before “this is gonna suck” fully formed in my mind I was already out of the muck and into the nice clear emerald green water that was below 20 feet.  Vis on the bottom at 118 fsw was probably close to 30 feet and temp is up to about 47 F.  The wreck is COVERED in growth.  Anemones, mussels, and that “furry” stuff obscured most every surface, including the many ropes, lines, hawsers, and other “draperies” hanging about the superstructure and outriggers.  I had to dig through thick clumps of hairy sea growth and mussels to get to the beam I wanted to chain into at 80 feet.  This sent the swarm of bergalls around the A-frame into a frenzy and attacted the attention of several very large blackfish.  I dropped down to the sand to look for scallops and after a couples minutes scanning and not spotting any I called it quits and headed up to grab the camera.  There were lots of ling and what I think were pollock (?) on the bottom.  Sean later told us he went several hundred feet out in the sand in the quest for scallops and only grabbed a couple so I didn’t feel too bad about my half hearted effort.  A couple of bugs were boated and we split just as the seas were starting to pick up.  The rain even let up just as we pulled into the slip, so all in all a great day!


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