Service allows boat owners to relinquish ownership following Irma damage

Those interested may contact Vessel Removal Hotline at 305-985-3744

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group

Coast Guard members oversee vessel removal operations in Pinellas County, Florida. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Romero.

MIAMI - A service is now being provided to allow owners of boats damaged by Hurricane Irma to relinquish ownership to help bring a quicker response to pollution and safety concerns.

The U. S. Coast Guard said owners who lack the resources to have their boat repaired may hand over their ownership through a waiver provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee.

The waiver is available at the Vessel Removal Hotline at 305-985-3744.

“Eliminating the time to salvage and then store a vessel when the owner does not want to recover it will enable us to remove vessels more quickly from Florida’s waterways,” FWC Capt. Jay Marvin said.

Officials said after the owner contacts the Vessel Removal Hotline, an FWC representative will contact them to walk them through the process.

Approximate numbers of boats assessed and removed after being damaged by Hurricane Irma:

  • Miami Branch: 237 assessed, five removed
  • St. Petersburg Branch: 259 assessed, 126 removed
  • Jacksonville Branch: 116 assessed, 15 removed
  • Florida Keys Branch: 702 assessed, 190 removed

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