The N.J. Jet Star, the famous ocean roller coaster that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, began coming down Tuesday as work crews placed larges pieces of it on a huge storage barge.
The barge is expected to carry away the last remnants of the beloved ride within 48 hours. About half of it was gone by mid-afternoon.
The image of the Jet Star, sitting in the ocean, was perhaps the most famous and enduring image of Superstorm Sandy. It appeared hundreds of times in media accounts and graced T-shirts, hoodies and car magnets, sold by the numerous charities raising money for storm victims.
“It was always a thrill. It didn’t matter how many times you went on it,” said Jones, now 21, who grew up in northern New Jersey but recently moved to the shore, where she was a regular visitor during the summers from the time she was 5. “It was that scary moment when it went around the curve at the top, and you felt like maybe you were going to fall in the ocean. But then somehow you never did.
“It’s heartbreaking to see it like this,” she added.
The ride is privately owned by Casino Pier, one of two amusement piers in Seaside Heights that were devastated by the Oct. 29 storm. Funtown Pier, at the southern end of the boardwalk, was so badly damaged it cannot open this summer, but will be back in 2014.
Casino Pier is being rebuilt and will include at least 18 rides this summer, including a new pendulum ride called The Superstorm, in defiance of Sandy.