Fort Myers Yacht Basin closed due to unsafe conditions

Published: October 7, 2022 12:23 PM EDT
Updated: October 9, 2022 12:34 PM EDT

Fort Myers said it will close its yacht basin until further notice after Ian swept through the area.

According to the city, the Category 4 Hurricane brought flooding in excess of 42 inches to downtown Fort Myers and the basin endured vast damages as a result of the storm.

The basin has been deemed unsafe and uninhabitable by the building official, according to Fort Myers. It is believed that 40 residents returned to live there. They will be notified of its closure. Many whose boats were unharmed have expressed interest in leaving the facility.

One yacht owner, Victor Coletta, had to have his boat totaled when authorities told him to leave the basin before he finished using a pump to lift it out of the water.

In addition to lacking water, electricity, safe conditions for navigating waterways and harmful environmental impacts, other perils include:

  • The electrical system throughout the facility is severely damaged: lines are exposed/power systems are in the water, augmenting risk for electrocution. The electrical meter panel ripped off the external wall of the building structure. The entire electrical system requires the immediate attention of a specialized electrical contractor/engineer to determine the magnitude of commanded repairs
  • The fire department reports it cannot access resources necessary to fight a fire, rendering the liveaboards without essential fire protection
  • The pump-out system has failed and is inoperable and damage assessment and repairs or replacement is required
  • Certain docks have been completely destroyed. Thus there is no longer a functional dock or a continuous walkway, rather docks with open spaces and/or submerged under the water
  •  The fuel service equipment is beyond repair. The condition of the fuel tank under the basin is unknown, and whether it is discharging fuel. The area has been boomed to contain the existing and soon-to-be-expected additional spills
  • The basin is not conducive for safe navigation, as the channels are blocked by sunken boats and debris
  • There are numerous distressed boats already sunk or continuing to sink that must be removed
  • The office/store building experienced extensive flooding upwards of 42 inches of water, and needs to have all water-damaged materials removed and replaced