Workers Free Beached Shrimp Boat Days After Storm

The shrimp boat that washed ashore in East Biloxi is no longer grounded.

It took a heavy duty crane, a barge crew, and a track hoe to float the "No Huddle" away from the shore. For several days, the grounded shrimp boat and the removal operation have been quite an attraction.

It was a challenge to get the boat back in the water.

George Sekul watched from the deck as heavy equipment tried to dig his shrimp boat free. This is day two of the removal operation. The effort to get the ship afloat has taken much longer than the furious few minutes when the boat washed ashore Monday.

"It was mean," Sekul said. "I thought we were going to end up on the highway. We had a tidal surge of about four foot there in about 10 minutes."

Freeing the boat took more like 10 hours. The idea is to dig out some floating room around the "No Huddle" and blow away sand from underneath.

Mike Furby is one of the construction workers assigned to the project.

"Getting the sand out from under the bottom of the boat on the keel. Once we get the keel clear, we can swing the bow around and pull it right out in the water."

That strategy is easier said than done. The boat owner appreciates the fact this job is painstakingly slow.

"Just kind of take it an inch at a time. And try not to do any damage to the hull," said Sekul.

"No Huddle's" plight began attracting attention once the storm winds died down. People watched the work and offered suggestions.

The first signs of success came around noon. "No Huddle" turned slightly, toward a dug out channel that will be her escape path to the open water.

Those who watched the entire operation could best appreciate what it took to get this far.

Shrimper Mike Williams was among those who watched the whole thing.

"They done everything. Dug around it. Washed underneath it. Pulled on it. The whole ball of wax," Williams said.

After a final bit of digging and maneuvering, "No Huddle" got a quick tow from the waiting barge. Four days after the storm, she's floating free again.