Workers Raise Historic Skipjack
TILGHMAN ISLAND, Md. (AP) _ A 113-year-old historic skipjack, a tall flat-bottomed boat used to dredge oyster beds, was raised Friday from the bottom of a creek off the Chesapeake Bay where it had sank in a sudden storm days earlier.
After a nine-hour effort, a marine construction crew pulled the Rebecca T. Ruark from 20 feet of water where the bay meets the creek.
``This is my whole life here, and I thought that for a while the first night I might have lost her. I thought she might have washed to pieces, but she didn’t, she’s a strong boat,″ said owner Wade Murphy.
A barge and a work crew of 17, including a diver, motored down the Chesapeake from Curtis Bay near Baltimore to raise the skipjack.
``We basically pulled this rig off another job to accommodate the captain,″ said crew member Eamonn McGeady. ``It’s a case of all of us river rats sticking together.″
The wooden sailboat, built in 1886, is the oldest working skipjack on the bay. It is a tourist attraction on the days it isn’t used to dredge for oysters.