City Manager Jim O’Reilly, Gulfport Councilwoman Christine Brown, and Harbormaster Denis Frain met with Grant Bond of the Citizens Against Derelict and Illegal Boats (CADIB) initiative. The meeting, which was held last month, resulted in two unrelated derelict vessels removed by the FWC last month.
But this is not enough for Bond. Another boat sank on Wednesday, September 30 and another on Saturday, October 3. Bond claims both boats were reported before they sank, but were not removed from the bay.
Bond says he was also told by the Coast Guard that this area in Florida has the highest rate of derelict vessels in the country.
Councilman Dan Liedtke presented a map at Tuesday’s council meeting compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of all the derelict and at-risk vessels in the Tampa Bay Area. Gulfport accounts for 30 percent of the vessels, but both recently-sunk boats have been reported and documented by the FWC who will be taking further action in the future to remove the two boats.
“We know about and we’re going to be doing something about that,” Liedtke said.
O’Reilly assured that the sunk boats had previously been identified and ticketed as at-risk, but the city must follow the protocol to first locate the owners of the vessels.
“There is a process to attempt to locate the owner, but we are aware of the vessel that was sinking ,” O’Reilly said.
The map of at-risk and derelict boats can be found at www.MyFWC.com
Featured photo is a stock image; it does not reflect a specific derelict vessel.