Abandoned boat is a blot on the landscape

A derelict fishing boat on the rocks in Bailey’s Bay is a blot on the landscape, an area resident said.

Jennifer Hind said: “It’s slowly started to disintegrate and it’s falling apart.”

Debris from the boat, including foam cushions, sheets of plywood and plastic, has started to wash up on the beach.

Ms Hind said: “It’s a mess.”

Ms Hind said the Trojan had been grounded west of the pedestrian bridge for a “couple of months”.

It had remained intact until recent winter storms hit the island.

Ms Hind said she had spoken to both the Department of Marine and Ports and the Department of Fisheries about the boat.

But she added: “Marine and Ports said because it’s a fishing boat it wasn’t their responsibility.”

Ms Hind said she was directed to the Department of Fisheries who told here they were “aware of the boat”.

She added that the employee told her that the department was “trying to encourage” the owner to remove the boat from the Hamilton Parish beauty spot.

But Ms Hind said the fisheries official said that there was “no legal way” they could force the boat owner to take responsibility.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources confirmed that the department knew about the boat.

She added: “It is not currently licensed.”

The spokeswoman said that responsibility for abandoned boats was split between two departments.

She explained: “This issue has traditionally been addressed by the Department of Marine and Ports in regards to the removal of boats and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regarding the release of fuel, lead from batteries and other hazardous chemicals into the environment.

“In this instance the fuel has been removed from this particular boat under supervision of the DEAR.”

The spokeswoman said the owner of the boat had been contacted.

She added that action could be taken against the owner under the Marine and Ports Authority (Dumping) Regulations 1967.

But the spokeswoman added: “Under these regulations the current offence — where the owner is known — only leads to a small fine of $360 with no requirement for the recovery of said vessel.”

Ms Hind said the answers she had received had made her feel “awful” and “really, really frustrated”.

She added: “If that amount of mess was on the land, they could be fined for littering.

“I think it’s appalling that we trash our environment in this way.”

Ms Hind spent a portion of Saturday afternoon hauling debris off the beach.

She said she would like to see boat owners held more accountable for abandoned boats.

Ms Hind said: “I would like to see laws in place that make people take responsibility for their property and for keeping Bermuda’s environment clean.”

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Published Jan 15, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 15, 2018 at 12:24 am)

Abandoned boat is a blot on the landscape

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