New Jersey man’s houseboat gets stuck in solid ice

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SANDY HOOK BAY, N.J. — Danny Davis, 53, worked to earn a few extra dollars Wednesday by fixing cars, while everything he has is locked up in a massive sheet of ice.

When he saw his home of three years, a 40-foot cabin-cruiser with two bedrooms and a kitchen, frozen at the center of Sandy Hook Bay, he broke down.

“I cried like a baby,” said Davis. “It’s my home.”

Davis lives on the vessel with his three dogs: Buddy, Blondy and Tiny. But when he looked out of his window last week and saw ice forming all around him, he knew he had to abandon ship.

Since then, he spotted her drifting in the bay. She is still anchored, he believes, but the giant ice sheet she is embedded in is now carrying her with the current. He has tried to contact various ice breakers to see if he could get a tow, but no one would pull him out without proof of insurance.

There is also the risk that if an ice breaker does attempt to get near her, it could put pressure on the vessel and ice could break through the fiberglass hull. Until the ice thaws, he’s found no way to rescue her.

“Nobody expected this much ice,” he said.

For now, Davis and his dogs are living out of his van. He has a fixed income of $750 per month, a disability check after he suffered 13 heart attacks and had to have triple-bypass surgery seven months ago. He also gets food stamps, he said. He feels fortunate that someone put him up in a hotel for a couple nights this week, but he couldn’t stay longer because of the dogs.

“I love the water,” said Davis. “I want to live on it the rest of my life."