The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is investigating an abandoned derelict vessel that sank while moored in Carrabelle.
On April 30, Janice Marois, a cruiser who was living on her own boat, the Seaweed, noticed the unnamed boat was in serious trouble.
“I looked up and noticed that the boat was listing dangerously and appeared almost ready to sink,” she wrote, in a blog. “This was about 6 p.m. and it looked like her aft quarter was only about 6" or so above the water. Indeed, within a half hour she'd overturned and sunk.”
Carrabelle received an inch of rain the day the boat sank and precipitation was, at times, torrential.
Marois said no fuel was released when the boat capsized and sank.
She had been watching the abandoned vessel for weeks. She said she believed a man and woman living on the unnamed craft didn’t know how to anchor the vessel. Marois watched the boat drift around the harbor with every incoming and outgoing tide until it finally wound up tied to a dock wedged between two abandoned shrimp boats.
She said the boat’s occupants seemed unconcerned about the situation and frequently left the craft to go to onshore bars and eateries.
Marois said the boat remained docked there two weeks, and then was anchored away from the dock and the occupants appeared to have left. The vessel continued to drift with the tides until she sank.
Marois said, at the time the boat sank, it did not display current registration numbers.
An employee of Fathoms, a Carrabelle raw bar, said she spoke to the boat’s occupants, and they had told her they did not own the boat but planned to buy it. She said the boat had been in Carrabelle for several years, both on a trailer and in the water.
The capsized boat had a black bottom and was initially difficult to see until someone marked it with two red buoys.
In a telephone interview May 23, FWC Lt. Charlie Wood said FWC is in the process of investigating the boat and has obtained the name of the owner. He said the owner was arranging to raise the vessel. Wood said that because the boat is not in the main channel, it is not a hazard to navigation.