Owner of Jay’s Sandbar Food Boat pledges to have wreckage of popular floating restaurant removed by weekend – Sun Sentinel
Fort Lauderdale — A day after Jay’s Sandbar food boat capsized and sank on the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal in full view of passers-by, owner Jay Lycke pledged to have the wreckage transported as soon as possible: here this weekend.
Lycke, still reeling from the loss of his famous sunken restaurant, said dozens of friends and loyal customers had called him over the past 24 hours, eager to help foot the bill to withdraw his ship. He said he needed about $10,000 to pull his broken ship from the shallow sandbar where it sat Monday night, half-submerged, now a twisting mass of broken panels, twisted metal frames and yellow banners flapping in the breeze.
“I said to the Coast Guard yesterday, ‘Let me keep it there for two weeks with a sign that says, ‘This is why you’re slowing down,'” Lycke told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Monday. looks like the SS Minnow over there.”
Everyone on the boat escaped uninjured as it sank in shallow water, but the boat’s owner described it as a “total loss” after one of its pontoons – a hollow cylinder at the bottom of the boat that keeps the ship straight and stable – blew out, causing it to tilt and partially sink.
“S*** is coming,” Lycke said Sunday afternoon. “Everyone is safe. This is the important thing. It was a very complex piece of machinery.
The wreckage must first be hoisted off the sandbar with marine salvage airbags and then towed to Fort Lauderdale’s 15th Street boat ramp, where it will be demolished with a backhoe, according to Lycke.
A GoFundMe campaign, launched within hours of the sinking of Jay’s Sandbar, had raised nearly $6,000 by Monday afternoon. The goal is $85,000 for removal and reconstruction.
Shortly before Sunday’s sinking, Lycke posted a video aboard the catering boat, inviting hungry revelers to his restaurant: “Sandbar jump today, people! It’s only 12 o’clock and it’s packed. It’s going to be a very, very cool Mother’s Day.
“Happy Mother’s Day everyone, from the crew of the Sandbar Food Boat,” he says in the video. “We cook and we eat.”
Glen Kuhne took a photo of the overturned boat, showing it submerged in the water at an angle of around 45 degrees with several people in the water nearby.
Kuhne was with his family in the water enjoying Mother’s Day when he spotted one of the catering boat’s pontoons detached and floating in the water. He said the pontoon was likely anchored because when the wind picked up moments later, the boat began to drift while the pontoon remained where he originally saw it.
About 15 minutes later, the second pontoon also detached from the boat, causing it to begin to turn sideways. Police and lifeboats were there within minutes, but everyone seemed safe, he said.
After speaking to officials at the scene, Lycke began making short trips, using the small delivery boats to haul gear and anything he could salvage from the catering boat to shore, Kuhne said.
“I just felt sorry for the guy,” said Kuhne, 57, of Plantation. “I just hope he has insurance.”
In a post on the boat’s Facebook page, another witness expressed grief over the loss and gratitude for the safety of the crew: “We saw this happen and were heartbroken,” wrote the commentator. “We were happy to see you out safely!!!”
Countless other commenters expressed their grief and condolences to Lycke, his family and his workers.
The US Coast Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Everyone is fine, stabilizer pontoon broken at the sandbar, we are sorry it was a total loss”, the owners of the boat published on facebook around 2:30 p.m. “The boat tipped over and sank while we were serving food, everyone got down to just 4 feet of water.”
The boat’s crew served fusion cuisine, ranging from jalapeno-stuffed, bacon-wrapped alligator bites to Hong Kong-style pork, calamari, clam nachos and more. Lycke was a boater and chef and had the idea to build a food boat around 2017 after having fun at food truck events but not noticing anything like it on the water, he said. he told the Sun Sentinel in a 2020 feature article.
He made fresh catches brought in by customers, and he also offered a vegan option for vegans and vegetarians — pita bread topped with hummus, fresh tomatoes and basil and drizzled with vinaigrette and tzatziki sauce.
He filled about 150 orders a day on the busy Intracoastal Waterway. Lycke’s teenage son even delivered food to boats anchored further from a small motorized inflatable boat.
“There’s nothing better than drinking and having food delivered from a 50-foot boat,” one customer told the Sun Sentinel in a 2020 interview after eating the alligator bites.
Lycke built the boat in about three months at a shipyard near State Route 84 using his life savings of about $75,000 at the time.
Food boats like Jay’s Sandbar are common in Florida, but for years he had the only one in Fort Lauderdale. Others are currently sailing in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
“It sucks because we were basically a national treasure here, so that’s what really sucks,” Lycke said. “Everyone loved this thing.”
Lycke said he was “devastated” in a Facebook post after Sunday’s sinking and vowed to rebuild.
“Keep your friends close, they can be gone in a minute,” he wrote. “It could have been so much worse, my crew is bigger than anything they’ve supported me for 3 years, it’s never been easy but we appreciate you guys, we’ll rebuild.”