FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Ugly, abandoned boats are being removed from Lee County waterways. Today, crews pulled out this boat from Hurricane Pass, near Fort Myers Beach. The boat has been tipped on it's side for quite sometime, but tonight the boat was crushed into a pile of debris.
"Hurricane Bay, just around the corner, it seems like it's a congregation where boats just go to die," said Captain David Durham.
This boat named the "Partner Ship" is now retired.
"This boat is no longer sea-worthy."
Lee County took control of the unsalvageable boat that was taking on water.
"It was declared abandoned and it's being removed under the Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Program," said Justin McBride, the Lee County Costal Projects Manager.
In March, the "Partner Ship" was tagged and the county's lengthy process to try and find the owner began.
"These boat ultimately are someone's property," said McBride.
But unsuccessful in their efforts, this boat is being towed to a junk yard, where it will be reduced to a pile of rubble.
"It was a stable vessel meaning it didn't have any oils or any fuel, it wasn't leaking."
On our way to the broken boas final resting place, we spotted another abandoned vessel. The county tells WINK News, just two days ago they went out, tagged the boat and the investigation to find it's owner is underway. Captain David says it's been anchored in this spot for about two months.
"The concern is the boat breaking lose and damaging other boats or becoming a hazard to navigation or sinking."
If the boat isn't claimed.t's future will be a lot like the "Partner Ship." Owners have 30 to 45 days to come forward. This demolition was the only option for the severely water damaged boat, with barnacles growing a long it's side.
"We need to get them out of the water as quickly as we can."
The county spent one and a half million dollars cleaning up boats in the past 10 years. They plan on pulling 16 boats out of the water during this sweep.