Sailors showed up first. By 7 a.m. Wednesday, eight boats had anchored off the swimming beach, forming an arc around the big sloop that had been grounded for more than a month. An hour later, 20 volunteers waded into the water carrying shovels and ropes.
Dozens came out to help John "Captain Jay" Burki, 66, or his bulldog Dreamer, who lived aboard the 45-foot cruiser.
Some had heard his story: How his boat, Promise, was blown ashore during Tropical Storm Debby, how town officials had been fining him $93 a day, and threatened to hack up his home if it wasn't off the beach by Aug. 1, how Burki was beaten up and hospitalized Sunday night.