Vietnam-era amphibious vehicles come ashore at Island Beach State Park after mechanical issues

A pair of massive Vietnam-era amphibious vehicles were sitting on the beach in Island Beach State Park Tuesday after experiencing mechanical issues while en route to Virginia, state officials said.

The vehicles are privately owned and were traveling south from Staten Island, New York, before coming ashore overnight in Ocean County, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said.

One vehicle is called “Wild Sally,” and the other is “Captain Jack.” One of the vehicles also had a sign on it that said read, “Montross, VA,” but it was unclear if the small town in Virginia is related to the vessel or its owners.

Additional information about the gigantic vehicles or who owns them wasn’t immediately available, officials said. Amphibious vehicles can operate in water or on land.

South Seaside Park residents Dominick and Deborah Solazzo shared photos of the vehicles with NJ Advance Media. Deborah first spotted the vehicles while taking her usual morning walk through Island Beach State Park, her husband said.

“There’s always a buzz around town here when something cool is happening,” said Dominick, who owns a local beach shop with his wife. “You’re walking through there and see that, your reaction is ‘What the hell is that?’”

Repairs to the vehicles — which are toward the northern end of the park — were underway late Tuesday morning, according to witnesses. Members of the State Park Police, which is part of the state Department of Environmental Protection, were also on hand.

“Wild Sally,” a privately-owned Vietnam-era amphibious vehicle that is sitting on the beach in Island Beach State Park on May 17, 2022.Shore and More General Store

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Jeff Goldman may be reached at [email protected].