A sailboat that had been beached since October near Cape May Point burned to ashes early Tuesday morning.

How the Sailboat Became Wrecked on Cape May Point Beach

NBC10's Ted Greenberg reports that the sailboat Panache had been given to two men who tried to sail it around Cape May Point late one night in October and ended up beaching the boat and abandoning it. It was determined that the boat was no longer sea worthy.

The Panache had been grounded on a section of preserved beach near Cape May Point known as Higbee Beach ever since. The boat was scheduled to be towed and demolished by Sea Tow Cape May on Tuesday.

How Did the Boat Catch on Fire?

That's what investigators from the state Department of Environmental Protection, which has authority over wetlands areas, will now try to determine.

A West Cape May neighbor became aware of the burning boat early Tuesday morning and called 911, according to The Press of Atlantic City. Fire officials say the boat appeared to have been burning all night long, and there was a chemical smell in the air from the burning wreckage.

Was the Boat Fire Arson?

That's what fire officials will investigate, but it seems likely that someone must have set the boat on fire. How else would the fire have started?

Lower Township Deputy Police Chief Donald Vanaman told the Press of Atlantic City that the fire seemed like, "a hell of a  coincidence". There was no immediate sings of arson, however.

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