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Mile 295 Report
May 23, 2020
Lots of commotion near the jetty on the north end of Nedonna Beach on this overcast morning!
Lots of commotion near the jetty on the north end of Nedonna Beach on this overcast morning! Earlier today a small rental boat had capsized, a man and a dog fell into the water. Both swam to the jetty safely, but the capsized boat could still be seen overturned in the water not far from shore just south of the jetty. Several vehicles (2 Sheriffs Dept, 2 Fire Dept, 1 truck from boat rental co) were parked by the jetty and several men and one woman were figuring out how to retrieve the boat. Several people were sitting/standing around watching whatever would unfold. I watched two men walk out in the surf to the boat, one climbed onto the overturned boat to assess the situation. They said the engines were stuck in the sand so the tide was unlikely to push the boat to shore. The men left in their truck to get rope and a winch, but almost immediately two Fire Department vehicles arrived with a big winch on a heavy duty pickup. I had to go before they retrieved the boat, but the incident will probably be in the newspaper next week! The beach was quite clean, not much debris in the driftline, a bit of foam and natural debris but no noticeable human debris. Two dead sea birds had washed up. About 55 people were walking, sitting, playing, or watching the boat incident. Despite what sounds like a lot of people, the beach remained quite empty, plenty of social distancing to go around. Nobody was wearing a mask.
Temperature: 55 F. Cloud Cover: Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Calm/Light. Wind Direction: S.
Number of people: 55. Number of dogs: 10. Walking or running: 18. Playing in surf: 5. Playing in sand: 10. Sitting: 6. Photography: 3. Fishing: 2. Other Activities: Lots of commotion near the jetty on the north end of Nedonna Beach today. As I had read on the Rockaway Facebook page prior to going to the beach, earlier this morning a man and a dog were out fishing in a rented boat when the boat capsized and they fell into the water. Both swam to the jetty safely, fortunately, but the capsized boat was still in the water and had drifted not far from shore just south of the jetty. Two Sheriffs Dept vehicles were parked by the jetty when I arrived, but no activity. Several people were sitting around on the jetty rocks, watching whatever would unfold. On my return from walking my mile about 50 minutes later, another pickup truck had arrived, evidently from the boat rental place. Two men walked out in the surf to the boat, which had been nudged closer to shore by the rising tide. One stood on the overturned boat trying to assess the situation. One of them told me that the engines were stuck in the sand so the tide might not be strong enough to push the boat to shore. They left to get rope and a winch, they planned to flip the boat, bail it out and haul it in. Shortly after, two Fire Department vehicles arrived, a rescue truck and a large pickup truck with a big winch. I had to go at that time, but presumably they were able to tow the boat in. As I walked away from the scene back to my car, the odor of gasoline was quite strong, but I'm not sure if it was due to leakage from the capsized boat or fumes given off by the recently arrived fire dept trucks. The incident will probably be in the newspaper next week!. Vehicles entered the beach about .75 of a mile south of the jetty, and crossed the sand from the dunes down to the firm sand at the water's edge. They left tracks in the sand. Two Sheriff Dept vehicles, two Fire Dept vehicles, and one truck (from the boat rental place) all parked on the sand near the jetty.
Cars/trucks on beach, prohibited: 5.
A few seagulls flew by overhead, some seaweed washed up with the tide but not much.
Total dead birds: 2. Two seagulls, not sure what species. One was about 50 feet from the water's edge .6 mile south of the jetty and looked as if it had been washed in by the last high tide. The other was closer to the dunes not far from the jetty, and was much more deteriorated.
Small rocks, Seaweeds and seagrass, Shells, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt), Wood pieces. Driftline content was pretty clean. I did not see trash or plastic, which surprised me because for the past two days the beach closer to Rockaway's wayside had been loaded with small bits of plastic and people reported finding debris that might have come from the tsunami in Japan. I found a small white plastic float that may have been used to hold up a net (with many other floats), with writing in what looks like Japanese on the float. No such human debris was noticeable on mile 295.
People have made several driftwood “forts“ here in there up near the dunes.
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It was a gorgeous sunny but quite cold afternoon, with a brisk wind from the northeast blowing sand toward the surf across a wide low-tide beach.