A Belmar boardwalk attraction that many have flocked to since 2012 vanished Monday.

Residents were quick to spot a giant crane on the beach removing pretty large objects. Rumors were swirling on social about what exactly was happening on Ocean Avenue. One user described the object as a "magical flying ship," others thought it was winterizing or something that had to do with COVID. It was enough to have people stop in their tracks and watch in amazement.

photo courtesy of Ray Girgis

The two 7-ton massive playground pirate ships that were part of Belmar's beach replenishment project after Superstorm Sandy were seen being hauled off near Eighth Avenue and Sixteenth.

photo courtesy of Ray Girgis

Thanks to Ray Girgis of AAA House Doctors for sharing his photos.

So, um, why?

According to Belmar Mayor Mark Walsifer the pirate ships are made from concrete and rebar and after eight years of salt water and sand they had deteriorated quite a bit. Enough for the borough's insurance company to say they were unsafe.

First reported by tapinto.net, during the December 1 Belmar borough council meeting the bottoms of the pirate ships got worn away and made them dangerous, especially for kids.

The good news is that Belmar is planning on replacing the ships as early as this Spring. Mayor Walsifer told tapinto.net that the town is looking into something that will last longer and hold up on the beach. The cost of each ship is reportedly about $130,000 each.
Whether or not they will be pirate ships is still up in the air.

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