Throughout this week, a dredge boat loomed in Manasquan Inlet – a pre-emptive rescue of boaters who had faced dangerous shoaling at the inlet’s mouth before the boat, named the Currituck, arrived.
As sinkers plopped into the water from the jetty and boats made their way out to the calm ocean on Thursday, the Currituck’s crew worked all day long to finish clearing the inlet channel.
Built in North Carolina in 1974, the Currituck is a frequent site for Shore locals. It arrives once or twice a year in Manasquan and Barnegat inlets, but this time it was called on an emergency basis by local officials after wind-against-tide conditions in the inlet began presenting a safety hazard.
The Currituck uses suction arms to literally scrape the bottom of the inlet floor. Sand then accumulates in its hull until the boat sits low in the water. Then, as a bonus, the boat moves just north of the inlet and dumps the sand out into the surf zone, providing a bit of beach replenishment as a bonus.
The dredging project is expected to wrap up by the weekend.