MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A commercial fishing boat anchored in the ocean near Myrtle Beach broke free and washed ashore on Friday, but no one was aboard, according to city police spokesman Master Cpl. Tom Vest.
The incident happened as Hurricane Ian was coming ashore in South Carolina.
The U.S. Coast Guard was called out to the boat on Thursday when it had mechanical problems, Vest said. Everyone got off the boat and it was anchored in the ocean near 82nd Avenue North. At some point Friday, however, the boat broke free and police began getting calls about the boat as it traveled about 8 miles (13 kilometers) south to the beach near Williams Street, he said.
Officials believe fluids were leaking from the boat and there was a strong smell of fuel, Vest said. Authorities have warned the public to stay away from the boat, saying it was extremely dangerous.
The National Hurricane Center says Ian came ashore around 2:05 p.m. Eastern near Georgetown, South Carolina, about 35 miles south of Myrtle Beach. It brought storm surge on the coast and heavy rainfall and strong winds in other parts of the state.
Steady, heavy rain has being reported across the state and storm surge and flooding is taking place in coastal areas. In Pawleys Island, only miles up from landfall, video and pictures showed flooded streets and damage. Police there said the end of the Pawleys Island pier had collapsed and had floated away. At least three other piers were partially destroyed.
President Joe Biden has already approved an emergency declaration for the state meaning federal assistance to the state can begin. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster confirmed that he'd spoken with the President Friday morning and the White House had been helpful and cooperative.