Matthew adds pressure to grounded yacht removal efforts on Palm Beach

Posted at 7:05 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 19:06:12-04

There is a new clock ticking to remove the grounded yacht on Palm Beach.

With Hurricane Matthew brewing in the tropics, crews must work even faster to get rid of the yacht, which has been stuck on Palm Beach for almost a month.
“We’ve had quite a few phone calls of concern, especially with the storm approaching,” said Jay Boodheshwar, the Deputy Town Manager.

The town of Palm Beach has taken over jurisdiction since the yacht's owner Thomas Baker failed to remove it.

The town hired a Fort Lauderdale removal company which plans to remove the vessel piece by piece on land, since it’s too damaged to be pulled out to sea.

“They’re shaping the beach to create somewhat of a ramp to be able to easily pull it up on shore,” said Boodheshwar.
It’s an operation that comes at a price. The town will be able to use FWC grant money for most of the removal cost. However, the town and ultimately the taxpayers will have to pay about 25 percent, or about 50 thousand dollars of that bill. 

“It’s very clear that the owner of the vessel is responsible for removable costs,” said Boodheshwar, referring to Florida State Statutes. “The town will be working with its legal council to seek reimbursement for anything that is out of pocket to the town”

The yacht’s owner, Thomas Baker, was on the beach watching the efforts Monday. He would not respond to our questions. He still faces BUI charges from the night he ran the boat ashore.