RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — As Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast, concern is growing
on the waterways about derelict and abandoned vessels that have broken free and damaged coastal properties in the past.
Ryan Nagel owns the Blue Heron Docks Marina in Riviera Beach and he still remembers the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
Nagel says that his docks and facilities were completely ruined after dozens of boats came crashing into his marina.
“There were boats everywhere,” he said. “There were boats on the bottom, boats laying against everything. I mean it was awful.”
The final repair work from that 2017 hurricane was just recently finished. It cost him nearly $40,000, and that doesn’t account for all the lost income.
Nagel’s business relies on fishing charter sales and fees from people who dock their boats at the marina, but because of the damage, he couldn’t open for weeks.
“We couldn’t operate our business because our slips were full of boats,” he said.
Those boats are mostly abandoned vessels floating in the Intracoastal, many without permits or proper mooring, according to Nagel.
“Most of the people that are out here aren’t really maintain their mooring. So the boats that are spinning around every day changing currents, changing wind and that’s when you have the issue,” he said. "Some of them just throw down an anchor and then they drag hundreds of yards [during storms] and finally hit us... and we’ve had some boats crash that had insurance and the insurance didn’t even pay."
Unfortunately, the cost of the damage and cleanup has fallen on Nagel’s shoulders each time.
And now, with Dorian quickly approaching, he worries that his marina is a sitting target for the abandoned boats once more.
“All we’re doing is standing and waiting for the next opportunity for them to crash into us,” he said.
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Source : CBS 12