Time’s running out to remove your boats on Fort Myers Beach

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Paul Dolan

Time is running out to take care of damaged vessels from Hurricane Ian because Tuesday is the last day to get them out of the water.

WINK News went to three marinas on Fort Myers Beach and didn’t see a single person getting any damaged boats out.

Although, there are plenty of damaged boats still in the area.

Boats need to be recovered by Tuesday according to FWC. CREDIT: WINK News

At Snug Harbor, WINK News talked to a man who has been there almost every day. He’s been watching the boats and told WINK News what looks like a giant pole is really the mast of a giant sailboat that has been underwater since the storm.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission gave everybody 45 days to get the boats out, and Tuesday will be day 45.

Owners are encouraged to hire a salvage company to provide the safest method for removal.

Damaged boats. CREDIT: WINK News

The man WINK News spoke with didn’t want to share his name but did say that he thinks a lot of people haven’t gotten these boats out because they don’t know where their boats are.

The boat owners don’t know the boats are there or another possibility is they live out of town and haven’t gotten the chance to come back to Southwest Florida.

For these and other reasons, the man WINK News spoke with at the marina doesn’t think the boats will be gone by Tuesday.

“I don’t see from a timeline how it can happen just because there’s so many boats in the water and so many things that need time to be recovered it’s not a real quick turnaround it takes a while to have it happen so I just think people are doing it as fast as they can so I think it’s ok to set the timeline but there has to be some flexibility with it,” the man at the marina said.

FWC said if your boat is not removed by Tuesday, you won’t be charged with a criminal violation. But owners could be held responsible for removal and disposal costs at a later date.

If you’re not able to get your boat out, you can contact FWC and turn the boat over to them, and then they can get it instead.

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