Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Abandoned boats clog waterways

CHARLOTTE COUNTY— Charlotte County has one of the most active boating populations in the state, but traffic has slowed dramatically since Hurricane Charley because abandoned boats have clogged the local waterways. State and county investigators have launched a major effort to make abandoned boat owners pay to have the boats removed.

As a captain for Sea Tow, Scott Trecartin helps out boaters whose boats are less than seaworthy. Hurricane Charley made him a busy man.

Even though Hurricane Charley hit four months ago, the remains of abandoned boats are scattered throughout local waterways.

The boats may be abandoned but the owners are still responsible for them. State and county investigators have launched a major effort to make abandoned boat owners pay for the cleanup.

Fish and Wildlife is working with Charlotte County to track owners of the boats. When they're found they're going to get a letter telling them to pay for the cleanup, or they'll have to go to court.

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