The Newport Princess, a three-decker riverboat, breaks apart during a storm in Long Beach on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Lifeguard.

A recent storm broke apart two vessels, including the previously sunk Newport Princess, leaving more debris at Long Beach’s shore, Long Beach Fire Department’s Marine Safety Chief Gonzalo Medina said.

The Newport Princess, a 50-ton, three-deck riverboat marketed as an events venue with a 150-passenger capacity, has been nearly submerged since Dec. 14, and Medina said the owner was working with his insurance and a private company to try to raise the boat. The Newport Princess was scheduled to be salvaged.

“We were in coordination with the Coast Guard and a private salvage company, but then that storm came and it broke the vessel apart,” Medina said.

Most of the vessel ended up on the beach near the pride-themed lifeguard tower, he said.

A second boat, an abandoned 35-foot power vessel, “had the same fate,” Medina said. No injuries were reported.

A 35-foot power vessel drifts near the after suffering damages during a storm in Long Beach on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Lifeguard.

“We’re in the process of demolishing those vessels and getting them off the beach, and getting them moved to clear the area up,” Medina said.

Both vessels were originally anchored near island White, one of the THUMS oil platforms about a mile from shore, according to Medina.

Generally, vessels are not authorized to be moored off of island White because the city does not rent the dock space, Joy Contreras, spokeswoman for the Public Works Department, the city agency managing cleanups, said in an email.

A man picks up a lifejacket that washed ashore with other debris such as tables and chairs after the Newport Princess riverboat sank off the coast of Long Beach. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The Newport Princess was not authorized to be anchored by island White, Contreras said. The exact duration is unknown, but the riverboat had been anchored there throughout 2021, she said.

The Public Works Department managed the cleanup of boat wreckage and other debris from last week’s storms, Contreras said.

“In addition to the City’s cleanup efforts, the vessel owner also deployed their employees to remove chairs, tables, life jackets and various other items off the beach, which were placed on a truck owned by the vessel owner and taken to an offsite location separate from City efforts,” Contreras said.

The projected costs related with these cleanups are currently unknown as the city’s main focus was the cleanups, Contreras said.

Debris from the broken Newport Princess, a three-decker riverboat, gets swept near the shore in Long Beach on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Lifeguard.

Riverboat sinks near oil islands about a mile from shore

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.