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Removing derelict vessels in Riviera Beach

Posted at 11:49 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 10:02:15-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.  — Derelict vessels have been a problem in Florida waters for a long time. The state has had enough and they're concentrating on getting rid of the derelict vessels statewide.

Lagoon Keepers out of Riviera Beach is a non-profit that removes derelict vessels

"Statewide there's derelict vessels everywhere," Gregory Reynolds of Lagoon Keepers said.

Reynolds says, his organization primarily concentrates on Palm Beach County.

"For the last 17 years, we've removed 354 derelict or abandoned vessels in the state. We average about 24 vessels a year without a hurricane," he said.

Derelict vessel is a boat that has no way of steering or power to move on its own power. Simply put, if it's not working it's got come off of state waters.

"There's only two ways we can remove a vessel from state waters and that's law enforcement directive or owner's permission," he said.

Reynolds says, removing a boat is about the right logistics, having the right equipment and the right people in the right spot at the right time. Boater Clayton Willis says he sees the issue all around him.

"Just today between here and the inlet which is about a mile I probably saw three or four between here and there .just laid up on the sandbar," he said.

If the police demand a boat be removed the owner is given 21 days to respond. If the boat is not removed the owner cannot register their car or another boat until they pay for the cost of removing the boat.