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Grounded Fishing Vessel Freed From Sand At Atlantic City Beach

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) –- A fishing vessel has been freed from the sand after the boat ran aground in Atlantic City Sunday night.

State police say the 56-foot “Jessica Heather” was found on the beach just outside The Pier Shops at Caesars at about 2 a.m.

The Coast Guard says a local tow company re-floated the vessel during high tide just before 6 p.m. Monday and took the boat to Barney’s Marina in Atlantic City.

State police say one man was taken into custody after a warrants check was run on the crew. George Southwell Jr., 33, was arrested on two outstanding warrants: one in Merchantville for shoplifting and the other in Cherry Hill for possession of a hypodermic syringe.

Just what happened has yet to be determined, but Coast Guard investigators have spoken to the captain, who on Monday night, told them his mate was at the wheel when the boat was beached.

“He did state that the mate may have fallen asleep and that will come out in this investigation,” said Lt. Eric Leese of the U.S. Coast Guard.

No injuries or pollution have been reported.

“The timing of it was pretty fortunate that it happened late at night. The beach isn’t that busy that time of night, as well as, in a really bad situation, it would have been horrible if that vessel would have struck the pier,” said Leese.

The incident remains under investigation.

KYW Newsradio’s Kim Glovas contributed to this report.

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