2 privately owned Vietnam-era amphibious vehicles pull ashore on NJ beach following mechanical difficulties
Two privately owned Vietnam-era amphibious vehicles experienced mechanical difficulties during a trip between Staten Island and Virginia and were pulled ashore at Island Beach State Park overnight.
The rare amphibious vehicles used in the Vietnam War have been on Island Beach State Park since around 1 a.m.
They briefly stopped in Sea Bright Monday.
A brother and sister involved in marine construction in Virginia were looking for amphibious vehicles to buy and found several for sale in Staten Island. They spent two years getting two of them ready for the water for the journey to Chesapeake Bay.
This morning, they lost two engines and thought it would be best to pull ashore and make repairs. Once the repairs are made, they'll head down to the Chesapeake and be used in construction.
“There's a lot of need for erosion mitigation, dredging, grip wrap, all the problems that you’ll have up here, we have the same problems on the bay,” says John Hennage, who was driving the vehicle. “It's just we don't have the infrastructure. A lot of our roads are small two-lane roads you can't get a tractor-trailer or heavy equipment down so this allows all the equipment to be brought in from the water.”
Hennage says each vehicle weighs 200,000 pounds and were meant to carry tanks in the war, so they can handle a 100-ton payload. He believes there are only about five or six left in the entire world that are still fully functional.
They were built in 1965 and have top speed on the water of about six knots.