Anna Maria pushes state, gains action on derelict sailboat removal

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People pirate a sailboat abandoned in December 2019 in Tampa Bay near the Anna Maria City Pier where one person was observed climbing the mast and children were observed jumping through the hatches. Islander Photo: Courtesy Joey Kyd
People pirate a sailboat abandoned in December 2019 in Tampa Bay near the Anna Maria City Pier where one person was observed climbing the mast and children were observed jumping through the hatches. Islander Photo: Courtesy Joey Kyd

A derelict vessel soon may be removed from the bay in Anna Maria.

Mayor Dan Murphy told city commissioners Oct. 8 that the abandoned sailboat — which was grounded south of the new Anna Maria City Pier in December 2019 — could be removed within a week.

Murphy said he has tried to work with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the West Coast Inland Navigation District to remove the boat but ran into a wall of bureaucracy.

“I have spent hours on the phone asking, “and I’m telling you, you’d think I was asking for the secrets of the Coca-Cola recipe.”

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he continued.

In the meantime, the boat became a “dangerous” hot spot for people who boarded, entered the cabin, climbed the mast or jumped off the side.

Finally, Murphy said he asked city lobbyist Chip Case to request a helping hand from Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton.

Robinson delivered.

Robinson made some calls, and the city got a call from the FWC.

The mayor was notified via email that Sea Tow would visit the site Oct. 9 to access the vessel for removal.

“Take it with a grain of salt,” Murphy said. “I’ve been trying my darnedest to get that boat removed. Maybe now it will happen.”

 

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