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 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.”