FORT MYERS BEACH.- A concerned viewer reached out to WINK News about an abandoned boat near Fort Myers Beach. Boaters say Hurricane Pass is known for people anchoring up for free and just leaving their boats if something goes wrong, despite the environmental effects.
That viewer is concerned about what may be seeping into the water in Hurricane Bay. He says this isn't the first time he has seen boats left alone out here that eventually start to fall apart, take on water and sink, but he says it obviously can't be safe for those who utilize this water.
"Unfortunately, if I could pull it with this boat, I would, but that's not going to happen," said Mark Ludwig.
Mark Ludwig reached out to WINK News for help for what appears to be an abandoned, derelict boat. Its falling apart and start to sink into the water of Hurricane Bay.
"It's all wood, it's a very old boat, all that debris floating, it's going to be a big hazard if somebody doesn't get out here and help us," said Ludwig.
He says this wooden boat needs immediate attention. WINK News took cameras on the water to see the state of this crumbling craft. We saw this five day removal sign posted on the boat on April 16th.
"It's like six weeks later, nothing has been done and I don't know why."
We contacted Lee County Natural Resources, they tell WINK News, this is not an abandoned boat. They are in contact with the owner, who claims its actually his home and assured the county he would have it raised this weekend.
"This boat has debris coming a part as we speak, it's polluting the water ways, and no one has done a thing about it and it's sinking daily."
He said at one point someone was living on board the boat, but now appearing to be abandoned.
"This boat has debris coming apart as we speak and it's polluting the water ways."
WINK News found out Lee County Natural Resources monitors the abandoned and derelict boats. We're told every year they remove about 60 to 70 boats that are on the water. Captain Mark Combs with Fish Tale Marina says for years abandoned boats have been a problem.
"We don't know where any of that stuff is going, it could sink tonight and tomorrow someone could run across there and it's dangerous."
Captain Combs says a lot of people who want to anchor for free head to the area of Hurricane Pass. He says they simply don't want to pay the mooring fees. The county says this is perfectly legal as long as boaters are properly disposing of waste, maintaining their boats and are not a navigational hazard, something they monitor routinely.
"Use the moorings so it can be regulated, they have Florida numbers, they have been stickered."
Now, the county says they are in touch with the owner of that boat and he says he will have it raised by this weekend. If it isn't the county will step in and go after him for the cost and possibly charge him with felony dumping.