The boat that went up in a blaze at Norwich Marina on New Year’s Eve and then sunk below the surface was raised Sunday – but it remains, suspended by air bags, in its slip.
The boat is the subject of an active search warrant as authorities investigate the cause of the fire.Norwich Fire Marshal Kenneth Scandariato said a decision about where the burned boat will be taken has yet to be made.“We have concerns over chain of custody and protection of the boat itself until the investigation is concluded,” Scandariato said.
It will be taken either to the Norwich Police Department impound lot or private property on Shipping Street, he said.“It’s not safe enough to get the marshals on to conduct an investigation while it’s in the water,” Scandariato said. “We have to move it to land and secure it so it doesn’t tip. Once the scene is rendered safe enough, we’ll put investigators on the boat and conduct the investigation.
”The Black Pearl, a 37-foot 1996 Silverton yacht owned by Ed Oliver, of Windham, was raised by a salvage vessel operated by Kennedy Diving & Marine Inc. Coincidentally, the salvage boat also goes by the name Black Pearl.
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Emergency Response Coordinator Brian Emanuelson said employees from Clean Harbors Environmental Services were on hand as the boat was raised to address any concerns involving hazardous materials.In addition to Scandariato and Emanuelson, the operation was being overseen by a mix of officials including Norwich police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office.