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Old 04-17-2013
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Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

I was sailing the Oakland (CA) estuary last weekend and saw the mast of a medium size sail boat that sunk on the South shore, near the auction house (West of Jack London). Looked like it had been there a while, and according to a You tube video (the only reference I found on the Web), it's been there a couple of years.

Wonder what the story is, and why they don't remove it.

It is of particular interest to me - because it could have been me! http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...tml#post711962

Last edited by L124C; 04-17-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

The story I heard was that they were navigating around a container ship and its tug, and just cut it too close to the channel edge.

I too am curious how/why a wreck is allowed to stay in the estuary. I know it costs money to do so, but isn't there some kind of general maintenance fund for things like dredging that would cover removal of wrecks?

Thats not a rhetorical question.
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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

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Originally Posted by groggy View Post
....

I too am curious how/why a wreck is allowed to stay in the estuary. I know it costs money to do so, but isn't there some kind of general maintenance fund for things like dredging that would cover removal of wrecks?

Thats not a rhetorical question.
The yacht is the owner's responsibility while floating or otherwise. Hopefully he/she is insured, otherwise he/she's got a major problem.
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Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

The Oakland Estuary Gets Cleaned Up
Contributing author: Todd Thalhamer, Cal Recycle

The Oakland Estuary, an urban strait separating the cities of Oakland and Alameda, will be cleaned up under a project funded by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The estuary is home to the Port of Oakland and is used by thousands of maritime vessels. It also serves as a large recreational area for competitive rowing, sailing, fishing, and other activities. However, abandoned vessels, dilapidated piers, sunken barges and the like, threaten the estuary’s ecosystem and pose navigational hazards. The enhancement project will target the inlets of the Oakland Middle and Inner Harbors south to the San Leandro Bay and end at the Bay Farm Island Bridge.

In 2011, CalRecycle completed cleanup projects on the Petaluma and Sacramento rivers. Subsequently, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) proposed a partnership with CalRecycle to clean up the estuary. The U.S. EPA suggested CalRecycle and the OPD apply for funds from the NFWF, which administers grants from the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill settlement. CalRecycle and OPD submitted a $1.3 million proposal, including
$650,000 from CalRecycle and $650,000 from the NFWF, to remove debris and enhance recreational water-based and shoreline activities in the estuary. In January, NFWF notifi ed the partnership the grant had been approved. Work is expected to begin later this year and take four to six weeks to complete.


http://www.coastal.ca.gov/ccbn/ct/ct-spring_2013.pdf
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Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
The yacht is the owner's responsibility while floating or otherwise. Hopefully he/she is insured, otherwise he/she's got a major problem.
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?

Last edited by L124C; 04-18-2013 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
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?

FWIW...
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Last edited by svHyLyte; 04-18-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
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).
Oh brother.
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

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Oh brother.
I can only assume this means you disagree, and think the state should be responsible for disposal of recreational vessels?
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

I think abandoned boats already are a significant factor in running a marina.... I suspect this has been true for decades. Most marinas seem to have established procedures for dealing with them.

Thank you to the OP for posting this question. I've been sailing past this mast sticking out of the water in the estuary for a year now wondering what the story is. Do we know any other details?

Still... it serves as a nice little reality check and warning to keep our wits about us when heading out.

--Chris
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Sunken sailboat in Oakland Estuary. What Happened?

A decade or two ago a fairly large wooden yacht got its mast caught on some powerlines and sank just down stream from one of the drawbridges over the Sacramento River, near Downtown Sac. As I recall, it sat there for quite some time because the owner of the boat, the power company, the drawbridge operator (Southern Pacific RR, IIRC), the city of Sacramento, CalTrans, and probably a half a dozen others, all got into a legal kerfuffle over fault/liability. I wonder if this boat in the Oakland Estuary is caught up in a similar situation.
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