Boat floats up on Ponte Vedra Beach

2 fishermen rescued after boat began taking on water in Gulf 2½ months ago

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - A fishing boat that the Coast Guard believed sank in the Gulf of Mexico in December washed onto Ponte Vedra Beach on Sunday.

Two fishermen were rescued from a life raft hours after they abandoned the "Lucky Dog," which began taking on water more than 170 miles off the coast of Madeira Beach -- south of St. Petersburg -- on Dec. 28.

The 33-foot boat was presumed lost. Its owner, Curly Egan, told a Fort Myers television station at the time, "It ain't lucky. ... Damn thing tried to kill me."

But the boat apparently also had more life in it.

SLIDESHOW: 'Lucky Dog' now grounded on PVB

Ponte Vedra Beach homeowner Pam Harrington, who reported the boat was grounded on the beach behind her home.  The boat apparently was carried by the loop current around the tip of Florida to the East Coast, where it washed ashore overnight.

"If boats could talk, it would probably have an interesting story," Harrington said.

Ponte Vedra Beach resident Chuck Herklotz said he's seen wreckage on the beach before, but nothing this big.

"I don't know whether it's going to go back out again or come in closer with the next high tide, but it looks like it's sunk where it is right now."

The Coast Guard says the boat's captain is responsible for removing the boat from the beach.

"Everyone is just curious as to where it came from, and how it got here," Harrington said. "But more importantly, how's it going to leave."
The Coast Guard said it has removed the fuel from the boat and has contacted the owner, who was surprised to hear the vessel had washed up on the East Coast. The Coast Guard said the owner seemed responsive to salvage the vessel.

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