Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?
Technically, yes. However, if the boat was insured for salvage, it wouldn't have been sitting there two years. If the owner doesn't have the money to float it or simply abandons it, it becomes our (the States) problem. People walk away from boats at my Marina all the time. If the boat doesn't sell at lien sale, the State pays to haul it away and crush it. The Harbor master is wiz at securing state funds. Grants, redevelopment and beautification funds. I think abandoned boats should be the cost of doing business for the marina. This would motivate the marina to be more selective about who they rent to, and go after the owner (if they have any assets). However, the State pays like a slot machine, so why bother!
I've found things in the nautical world to be much looser than I expected. For example, I assumed the Nav Aids at my marina had to be maintained by law. To my surprise, the Coast Guard informed me I was not correct. No regulations for marker lights?
To the extent that the law regarding liability is not vigorously and quickly enforced, problems such as your wreck will persist unless they pose an immediate hazard to navigation. Where it is easier to get money out of one or another state or federal agency to handle a problem than to prosecute the responsible party, municipalities will do so and culprits will walk away fairly confident they will suffer no consequences. Frankly, I think all boats should be registered, just as are automobiles, to go upon the water and that registration should be conditioned upon evidence of, at least, liability insurance. (While liability insurances is not inexpensive, it would be much more affordable if everyone were required to purchase it just as the near universal need for real estate title insurance has made title policies affordable.) Such a requirement would cut down on incidents of near derelict boats languishing in marinas and abandoned wrecks such as you describe.
N'any case, hopefully your wreck will be removed sooner or later and before it does pose a more serious hazard, eh?
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
Last edited by svHyLyte; 04-18-2013 at 11:23 AM.