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FWC Collects Hurricane Battered Boats

Tim Donovan
FWC's Flickr

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is helping boat owners clean up damage from Hurricane Michael. The agency is storing wrecked vessels.

At least 175 vessels have been removed from state waterways. FWC Boating Waterway Director, Robert Rowe says efforts to retrieve displaced boats will help clear potentially hazardous remains from the hurricane.

Boat owners can hire a salvage company to recover their vessels, or waive their rights.

“What we do is have a contractor come in and destroy the boat, we haven’t started destruction yet we just now have gotten to the point where we have a purchase order approved for that. What will happen in that case is that all the recyclables are separated from the vessels and the vessels are destroyed and put in a landfill,” said Rowe. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave more than $18 million to assist in removing damaged boats. The FWC has posted a list of recovered vessels on their website and is asking boat owners who want to retrieve personal items to contact them.

FWC has also partnered with the National Association of Charterboat Operators to provide financial help for boat owners to get their businesses back up and running.

Gabrielle Bolden is a fourth year broadcast journalism major attending Florida A&M University from Jacksonville, FL. Bolden is an aspiring multimedia producer. She previously served as a producer for News 20 at Five airing to at least 80,000 households, creating engaging content weekly. She pitched and wrote articles as a staff reporter for The FAMUAN Newspaper. She also produced the 2018 Election Night Special for News 20 at Five, covering state and local election races. Bolden interned for WCTV-Eyewitness News (CBS) producing a multimedia project covering the devastating wildfires in Eastpoint, Florida.