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Fisher Island, the exclusive private barrier island located next to downtown Miami, became the temporary home of a Panamanian cargo ship that ran aground. The Coast Guard was notified of the grounding early Thursday night. Shortly after daybreak Friday, the vessel was successfully towed to open waters.
Fisher Island, the exclusive private barrier island located next to downtown Miami, became the temporary home of a Panamanian cargo ship that ran aground. The Coast Guard was notified of the grounding early Thursday night. Shortly after daybreak Friday, the vessel was successfully towed to open waters. (Coast Guard/handout / Courtesy)

The area of Fisher Island, the exclusive private barrier island located next to downtown Miami, became the temporary home of a Panamanian cargo ship that ran aground.

The Coast Guard says it was notified about 5 p.m. Thursday that the 203-foot cargo vessel the Betty K VI “ran hard aground after losing propulsion north of Fisher Island,” the agency said Friday morning.

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Helicopter images broadcast on WSVN-Ch. 7 showed damage to the front of the ship and to the dock that it ran into. It wasn’t clear if the dock is part of a Fisher Island property.

Though boat traffic is a common sight to those who live in waterfront homes where at least one current real estate listing exceeds $15 million, staring at a stuck, 203-foot ship must have been somewhat startling.

Fisher Island, with a population of only about 500 residents, was noted in 2015 as having the highest per capita income of any place in the U.S., according to online information.

Shortly after dawn Friday, a powerful tugboat was able to move the large vessel back into open waters away from the island.

According to the Coast Guard, there were no reported injures, pollution or hazards to navigation because of the grounding.

Though the saga of the Betty K VI was much briefer, it brings back memories of a famous South Florida incident on Thanksgiving Day of 1984 when a large ship, the 197-foot Venezuelan freighter — the Mercedes I — crashed into the beachfront yard of Palm Beach socialite Mollie Wilmot.

Wilmot hosted the ship’s crew and scores of journalists with finger sandwiches, coffee and numerous interviews as the ship remained stuck near her property for 105 days.

Wilmot died in 2002.

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