After a nine-day trip at sea the crew of the scallop vessel Digby Challenger expected to be offloading their catch on Sunday, June 9. But the vessel found itself facing another challenge instead.
Around 5 a.m. the boat grounded on the shoreline in Tiverton, Long Island, down on Digby Neck. The crew was not injured and the vessel suffered little damage. The boat grounded near Macs Point in Tiverton.
Early on it was being suggested by some at the scene that an auto pilot error may have contributed to the incident, but that wasn’t confirmed. Crew members were heard talking about auto pilot issues to a few of the spectators in the crowd that had gathered to come see the boat, but the crew and captain chose to decline comment when asked about what had occurred. A call to the boat's owner was not returned.
Local fishermen in Tiverton were assisting the crew by bringing ice to the scene help keep the scallops on board cool.
Early on it was anticipated that the vessel would be able to depart for Digby on the next high tide. At 5 p.m. on Sunday crowds watched the Digby Challenger receive a tow from another vessel and head back out to sea with little trouble, after spending the unplanned day in Tiverton.
As you might imagine, the sight of the grounded vessel was turning into quite the attraction for locals and visitors who were flocking to the scene throughout the day to have a look. The vessel was a very short distance from where the ferry docks, so people had a view of the situation from the land and the water. The smooth slope and relative even surface of the shoreline where the boat ran aground worked in the vessel and crew's favour compared to areas not too far away where it could have ended up. The Passages around the Islands are powerful and high traffic areas and the area is not new to groundings.