RUMSON: MARINA RESURFACING AFTER STORM

Life was returning to normal at the Rumson marina on Tuesday, though a new $3 million Viking that was swept from the lot remained half-sunk on the Middletown side of the Navesink, below. (Photo above by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

More than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, Oceanic Marina owner Pete Pawlikowski is still trying to restore his ravaged Rumson business. redbankgreen was on the scene day the morning after the storm hit, and returned on Tuesday to check in on the rebuilding process.

“Its mind-boggling, really,” said Pawlikowski, sitting in his once-again operational office and store, which was submerged in over four and half feet of water just two weeks ago. “I’ve never seen so much devastation.”

The eastern portion of Oceanic’s waterside lot, which had been packed with boats, had only one left after the storm. (Click to enlarge)

While the marina building is getting back into operational shape, the 75 recreational boats and watercraft under Pawlikowski’s watch still have some major issues. Six boats sank during the storm, and 13 were pushed across the Navesink, some even ending up on the opposite shore.

Pawlikowski was able to wrangle most of the vessels back to what remains of his twisted docks, and a crane was brought in to raise many submerged vessels back to the surface, though he is still waiting on equipment that will allow him to bring boats over 32 feet in length out of the water.

The 52-foot, $3 million Viking vessel that remains half submerged in the Navesink will require a much larger rig to help get it out of the water safely, and for the time being has been fortified with oil soakers to protect the river from any fuel leakage that may occur, he said.

Though the marina suffered over $800,000 in damages, Pawlikowski and his crew say they remain optimistic of getting the yard back to normal, despite all the hardships they have faced the past two weeks. Still, Pawlikowski finds new evidence of damage almost every day.

“I’ll start to look for a piece of equipment, then realize, wait, it’s not there anymore.” he says, while petting his dog Annie. “Just today I realized the soda machine is shot and my tool box is full of water.

“But you know, it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “I still have a house to go back to. Plus I know we’ll be back by April 1st. It could be a lot worse, and I’m just thankful it wasn’t.”