CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Many folks consider them a sight for sore eyes, but maybe not for much longer.
The Cape Coral Police Department is taking aim at derelict boats. The marine unit just removed this one from a canal along Lucerne Avenue.
This vessel, named "Bulldog," was removed on Tuesday afternoon, and had holes in the hull, holes in the cabin and previously leaked oil and gas into the waterways.
Derelict vessels have been a problem in Cape Coral years -- abandoned boats floating and rotting away along various docks. "Any vessel that is tied to a dock with permission of the owner cannot ever be a derelict vessel. A vessel tied to a dock can be a code violation, and like many other things we do, it may be hard to get there on a criminal investigation, but a civil penalty can have the teeth needed to motivate people," says Sergeant Kurt Fundermark of the Cape Coral Police Department Marine Unit.
Once the city recovers a derelict boat it can do one of two things: fine the owners, or move the boats itself and bill the owners later.
There are many derelict or nuisance vessels around the city and our Marine Unit is constantly checking and updating the status of these vessels. If a vessel is determined to be derelict, the process to remove it involves working with the Lee County Sheriff's Office, FWC, US Coast Guard in some cases, and the Department of Natural Resources.