Tampa, FL

Tampa Is Clearing Abandoned Boats From Its Waters – Owners Will Be Given 21 Days Notice Before Dangerous Boats Removed

Toby Hazlewood

Nuisance boats won't be tolerated any more

A police force from the Tampa area are taking swift and decisive action after many years of allowing abandoned and neglected boats to remain in surrounding waters.

In a scheme devised by Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the owners of boats that have been left neglected or abandoned - often for years - will be served with just 21 days notice to remove or attend to them.

If the owner does nothing, the boat will be removed, confiscated and probably destroyed.

About $5,000 to remove each one

The first removal took place on February 21, and according to Sheriff Gualtieri there are more than 30 other vessels that have already been identified as needing removal.

While each costs about $5,000 to remove and dispose of, the money is clearly considered worthwhile to make the waters safer and more visually appealing.

According to Sheriff Gualtieri:

"They’re a danger to the public, danger to boaters, danger to people on personal watercraft, and a danger to swimmers. "The urgency today is that there’s a lot more of them, and the community has just had it and we need to be responsive and that’s what we’re doing"

The cost of boat ownership

While it's an appealing prospect, to own a boat and to use it for leisure in Florida's waters, the number of boats that have been abandoned and neglected is perhaps a reflection of the costs of owning and maintaining a vessel. Particularly in times like these where inflation have increased the cost of living for many, the costs of maintaining a boat are just too much for owners to meet.

This is a long running problem for Tampa though, and in 2019 news outlets reported on Tampa's so-called 'boat graveyard' where abandoned boats were being left to decay in the water.

The effects of inflation are even more pronounced in Tampa, which has recently been identified as a 'national hotspot' for suffering the highest levels of inflation across the U.S.

Whether the abandoned and neglected boats off Tampa have been left by their owners due to the cost, or simply through apathy, it seems like the initiative being undertaken by Sheriff Gualtieri will help to make the waters cleaner, safer and more visually appealing for its residents - a very good thing indeed!

What do you think about the amounts of money being spent to clear up other people's mess in the waters around Tampa? Are you feeling the effects of inflation? Let me know in the comments section below.

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