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Boat left near Matlacha Community Park removed

August 15, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Thursday afternoon, an abandoned 32-foot sailboat was removed from the boat ramps at Matlacha Community Park.

It is believed the boat was abandoned on July 17 or 18 when it was tied to a nearby park dock where is stayed until the evening of Aug. 4.

According to a Lee County press release, "Then, on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 4 (last weekend), an unknown towing operator dragged the sailboat from the dock onto the ramp's southern lane and left it there. Parks & Recreation staff on Sunday, Aug. 5, placed caution tape and secured the area."

Article Photos

The boat was tied to the dock on the southern ramp at Matlacha Community Park.


Because the boat was blocking one of the two public boat ramps at the park, Parks & Rec staff worked quickly to have the boat removed. They contacted TSI Disaster Recovery, a marine salvage company Lee County Natural Resources has a contract with, to remove the boat.

"Since that time, Parks staff has been working closely with Lee County Natural Resources, Lee County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit and staff from the West Coast Inland Navigation District," the press release said. "Law enforcement takes the lead using Florida state law to find the last known registered owner of an abandoned vessel. Attempts are made to find an owner and have an owner pay for the removal of an abandoned boat. That investigation continues."

Thursday afternoon TSI Disaster Recovery arrived to assess the boat and a removal strategy. Approximately three hours later the boat was dragged from the water, tied down on a huge flatbed truck, and removed from the park.

TSI Disaster Recovery will store the boat for 30 days while Lee County searches for the last registered owner. If found the owner will be charged for the removal fees, Parks & Rec reported.



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