On Thursday, Feb. 6 when high-speed winds howled through the Lowcountry, a shrimp trawler was pushed into the mud. It remains there until a plan can be made to release it.
The Jamie Lynn was anchored on the Mount Pleasant side of Crab Bank and blew onto the bank of the Old Village, just southeast of the mouth of Shem Creek between two privately-owned docks.
The boat was purchased by captain Wayne Pye and his fiancé, Jamie Lynn Kennedy, just three years ago in hopes to start a family business. According to Kennedy, that’s right about the same time that the shrimp stopped showing up.
“It’s weird because nobody knows what’s going on. There are a couple theories it might be because of the dredging, weather and temperatures, but nobody really knows exactly why,” she said.
Pye bought the 60-foot, 61-ton shrimp trawler in Mississippi. He fixed it up and drove the boat back to Mount Pleasant through the Gulf Coast. He traveled through Lake Okeechobee in Florida where the boat had some issues and up the East Coast.
During the recent shrimp season, the boat’s water pump went out causing the boat’s injectors to fail. Kennedy said they were saving up money to replace the injectors, but due to a health emergency in their family, finances are tight.
Formerly, the Jamie Lynn was docked at Simmons Dock, but Kennedy said they couldn’t pay rent due to the lack of shrimp and left. She explained that when the motor failed, she called the Town of Mount Pleasant and Mount Pleasant Police Department to let them know she needed to park her shrimp boat at the public recreation floating dock in Shem Creek until she could have the boat towed to a private island.
“I told (the town) what was going on. My motor’s out and I can’t get it to turn over until I get it fixed. The town said that’s fine; just don’t cause any trouble,” Kennedy said.
She said that she and a crewman would go down and check on the boat at Shem Creek every day. On Jan. 16, she checked on the boat and found a ticket on the bow from the town. The ticket implied she’d abandoned the boat at the town’s recreational docks.
Town administrator Eric Demoura replied when questioned about the ticket, “The Town of Mount Pleasant continues to fully support and invest in the commercial fishing industry at Shem Creek. Overnight dockage at the recreational docks was granted for two months and could not be granted any longer.”
Kennedy said that upon receiving the ticket she moved her boat over to Crab Bank.
“Then the storm came through with 70 mph winds and it pushed my boat between two private docks. I’ve talked to the owners so they know what’s going on,” she said. “Right now I’m kind of stuck in the mud until I can get a tide high enough to get the boat floating enough where I can get it pulled out with some outboard boats.”
She explained she can’t risk a shrimp boat pulling the Jamie Lynn out from where it’s stuck right now because they pull a lot of water. Kennedy said tide charts for the next week aren’t showing a high tide large enough for her to move the boat. She thinks the next chance will be around the next new moon (Feb. 23) or full moon (March 9).
Since the boat became stuck, a few outboard leisure boats have tried to pull the Jamie Lynn free. But, Kennedy said they’re going to need more boats so she’s using local boating and fishing pages on social media to try to recruit more boats to assist.
The destination for the Jamie Lynn once released from the bank was not confirmed.