The tower at the inlet needed to be replaced. To steal a quote: officials say its a critical aid for navigation. "To advertise to our mariners and give them the best system for them to safely navigate in and out of Ocean City, that's why we need to go ahead and put it back up on this jetty," said Aric Deuel, Officer In Charge for the U.S. Coast Guard's Navigation Team.
The most efficient way to do this replacement was with the Coast Guard bringing in the new tower by helicopter. I of course wanted to see it happen, so I jumped into my car and headed off to the inlet parking lot to wait and watch for it to happen.
I was not alone. Seems that the shore birds were enjoy the pre-show just as much as I was.
of course there were some of the birds who only showed up for the buffet.
Oh and there were people there too waiting for the show to start.
As the helicopter came closer you could see just how large both the helicopter was and the length of the tower is was delivering.
I will tell you, there is no way I would have wanted to be either the pilot of that helicopter or the ground crew. The pilot had to maneuver the helicopter over the site and lower the tower perfectly to were the ground crew was waiting to anchor it onto the jetty.
The winds were steady and with the down draft the helicopter was putting out the ground crew was not having an easy time of it.
After MANY tries, they finally got it to work and got the tower installed.
Here is a "borrowed" web cam photo of the finished tower
I can tell you that I will never look at the tower and not think about how dangerous it was to get it there.