Two men head back to court for derelict vessels

Two vessel owners face more enforcement in Bradenton Beach.

Bradenton Beach Police Officer Eric Hill issued John Avery and Jeremy Thomas citations for derelict vessels March 26 and their cases are making their way through 12th Circuit Court.

State law prohibits any person to store, leave or abandon a vessel that is wrecked, junked or dismantled on state waters.

A year ago, 12th Circuit Judge Renee Inman found Avery guilty for failing to register a boat and leaving a derelict boat in Sarasota Bay south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier. Three months later, she found him in compliance.

In the latest case, BBPD alleges Avery’s 22-foot 1984 Tanzer sailboat has no lights and is taking on water. He was notified of $220 fine required by June 1, according to court records.

Thomas was cited for violating the derelict statute because his 30-foot 1977 cabin cruiser has no means of propulsion.

In a letter to the court, Thomas contested his March 26 citation, saying Hill gave him 30-plus tickets in 2017 and harasses him on the water and on the land.
Hill denies the allegations.

A 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, hearing is set in the Thomas case.