• Sunken yacht. Photo Roger McMillan.
    Sunken yacht. Photo Roger McMillan.
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Sydney Harbour, Moreton Bay... it seems that anywhere there is sheltered water there will be boats left to rot. And arguments about which authority should be resolving the issue. Here's another story on the subject by Katie Landeck in the Panama City News Herald:

The mast had snapped off the old sailing vessel by the time it ran aground just offshore the Elks Club lodge.

It was tantalizingly close to shore: If it had made it another 15 feet and washed onto the beach, the city would have been able to remove and trash the boat, said Marina Director Stan Jones. But sitting a foot deep, with state water lapping gently at the faded red of the hull, the boat instead is Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Investigator Drew Nelson's problem.

 

"It comes and goes with the tides," said Nelson, who has been with the FWC's marine patrol unit for 27 years. "We'll be doing really well; then a storm or a rough season happens. ... In my 27 years, I've never seen it absolutely perfect."

But 12 active cases, he said, is a high tide.

The problem

Derelict vessels are a problem with which almost all coastal communities wrestle.

People think they're ugly. They become underwater and navigational hazards. They can leak toxins, like fuel, into the environment. And they can damage other boats, as marine salvager Gerald Nelson, no relation to Drew Nelson, will tell you.

Last year, Gerald Nelson volunteered his company, Southern Marine Service, to remove a dozen derelict vessels from Bay County waterways, a service valued at about $40,000. The next storm sent one of the few derelict boats not removed in the sweep crashing into one of Nelson's own boats after it unattached from its anchor.

 
Read the full story at the News Herald, where some solutions are suggested which could be implemented here in Australia.
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