Residents want boat-removal scheme extended
A plan to remove derelict boats from some areas should be extended across the whole island.
People in areas blighted by abandoned ships spoke out after the Government said a total of 17 boats in four areas would be removed in 30 days if the owners did not come forward to claim them.
Mark Riihiluoma, who lives near Riddell's Bay, said he was pleased to hear of the action, which he called “way overdue”, but feels that the cleanup should be extended to Riddell's Bay and the West End.
Mr Riihiluoma said: “It's not just because of the boats on my property but essentially these are giant pieces of litter that people have dumped.”
He told The Royal Gazette last December that a pair of burnt-out yachts had sat on the rocks at the mouth of the bay for months.
Mr Riihiluoma was speaking after it was announced Ferry Reach, Coney Island and Mullet Bay in St George's and Mill Creek in Pembroke had all been targeted for action.
Jennifer Hind, of Bailey's Bay, said: “I hope it is the start of a greater initiative to clean up such vessels.”
She added: “I hope this will also make the owners themselves more responsible. Cleaning up the mess is a short-term solution.
“Preventing the mess in the first place by holding boat owners responsible for maintaining their moorings and insuring their vessels is the real solution.”
She added she would like to see abandoned punts targeted next.
Ms Hind said she had recently contacted Government about a fishing boat on the rocks near her home.
Roger Lambert, from Scaur Hill, said he was “so glad” to hear of the cleanup. He said he would like to see it extended to other areas, including his own.
Mr Lambert contacted the Gazette last month about an abandoned boat in Scaur Bay.
He said it had been there “for close to ten years”.
Mr Riihiluoma said the legislation governing boat removal should be toughened.
He added: “Obviously the consequences involved are nil. Given the large expense to haul these boats, there isn't any incentive for non-insured boat owners to move them.”
Mr Riihiluoma said the boat registration fee should include haulage insurance.
He explained: “If each boat owner paid a small amount each year, which could be included in their registration fee, there would be a fund for timely removal of these wrecks.
“Not only are these abandoned boats eyesores, but they are also detrimental to our environment.”
The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Marine and Port Services announced a clampdown on eyesore wrecks this week.
Owners of the boats in the four areas targeted can notify the Government and give consent for the disposal of their old vessels free of charge.