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City raising sunken sailboat from depths of Caloosahatchee River

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 22:33:48-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Drivers have seen a sailboat slowly submerge into the Caloosahatchee River. The City of Fort Myers is in the process of removing it.

"Almost everyone who has crossed that bridge has seen that sunken sailboat," Captain Jack said. Captain Jack runs Captain Jack Boat Tours in Matlacha. He's seen it on his trips back home.

"My main concern is to keep our waterways open and clear," he said.

The City of Fort Myers started to get the sailboat out from under the depths on Saturday. The city was able to contract a salvage company. The sailboat has already been de-masted. The next step is to have it refloated.

"We don't want these vessels floating around and someone hitting them," Captain Jack said.

Sunken ships like the one in question also has environmental risks.

"Sailboats can have diesel fuel, it can have oil, they could have gasoline," Captain Jack said. "The runoff is right in the middle of our waterways. It could lead to our precious beaches and intercostal waters," he added.

The city will charge the owner of the sailboat for the cost of removing it.

Captain Jack recommends people report sunken vessels to the US Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.