rb boat fire 021814The charred outline of the Fiddler lies surrounded by ice in the Navesink River off Maple Cove in Red Bank Tuesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


The owners of the icebound boat that went up in flames in the Navesink River last week say they are “devastated” by the blaze, which they attribute to arson.

In an email to redbankgreen, Alison Haigh, whose family owns the 30-foot Fiddler, says:

It was vandalized repeatedly since the last week of January. They busted all the windows, smashed the electronics and started a bonfire in the hull. We cleaned her up and prayed they wouldn’t come back. Old Christmas trees mark the thin ice line in the river and we believe they used them to torch it on Wednesday. We have no leads. Someone must know something??? We are devastated.

The family reached out to the police to claim the boat after the arson, but have not heard back yet, she said.

Haigh also answered the question that was on the minds of many, even before the Fiddler burned early last Wednesday morning: Why was it anchored mid-river over the winter?

We left the boat in the river because the last couple of years it didn’t freeze. Also, its a Maine Lobster boat so the ice (wouldn’t) hurt the structure.

The Haighs, who live on Harrison Avenue in Red Bank, ask anyone who has info about the fire to contact them.