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SpongeBob to the rescue

SEPT. 21 — Fans of the animated cartoon show “SpongeBob SquarePants” on the Nickelodeon channel know the title character is known for helping out his friends. No one knows that more than the crew of the 25-foot walkaround powerboat Clam Juice.

At 7:15 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 15, the 25-foot boat was sinking fast near Gloucester Harbor, Mass., just off Ten Pound Island, according to a Coast Guard news report. Rescue crews arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, removing two of the four crewmembers from the boat.

Two Coast Guardsmen boarded Clam Juice with a dewatering pump and began to remove the estimated 2,000 gallons from the vessel. When the water began to clear, they discovered the cause: a large crack in the boat’s exhaust pipe.

As a temporary solution, the Coast Guard crew suggested using something round to plug up the exhaust hole. After some searching, one crewmember of Clam Juice turned up a squishy SpongeBob SquarePants NERF football. The toy sealed the hole tight when one of the crewmembers went overboard and jammed it into the exhaust from the hull exterior.

SpongeBob kept the boat watertight as it was towed to Browns Yacht Yard in Gloucester for more permanent repairs.

“Luckily, SpongeBob got a day off so he was available to assist us with this rescue,” quipped Chief Petty Officer Paul Wells in the report.

The crew sustained no injuries, and the football was returned to them in good condition.

— Elizabeth Ellis