Sinking Boat Could Make a Dangerous Situation

A sinking boat in the Bay St. Louis Bay has been taking on water since last Tuesday. On foggy days boaters are concerned it might be dangerous.
News 25’s Gina Tomlinson took a ride out to where the boat is sitting and gives us a closer look.
The boat’s name, Unleashed, fits its condition. Left sinking in the Bay St. Louis Bay unclaimed for about a week, Gulfport Fisherman Dick Palenik says the forty-foot long yacht taking on water is a hazard for other boats on the water. “If I’m following my GPS at night, you’d never see it. You’d run right into it.”
Without working lights or a flag to warn other boaters about the sitting vessel, Tuesday’s heavy mist on the water carried another concern. Gulfport resident Mark Mayo said, “Especially like today, it’s pretty foggy so you don’t really see anything until the last minute. Obviously they could wreck their boat which could be extremely dangerous.”
Not all boaters want the boat removed. Some say the longer the submerging yacht sits the better it could make for a fishing spot. Gulfport boater Justin Dewey said, “A bunch of smaller fish will gather there to try to stay away from the bigger fish, but that brings the bigger fish in.”
Usually the boat is visible from the Bayou Portage Bridge. Marine workers tell News 25 they first noticed the boat Tuesday morning. “If somebody actually knows that it’s there, that’s pretty irresponsible,” said Palenik.
Whether the boat had an emergency situation or was left intentionally is unknown at this time. The Department of Marine Resources tells News 25 it is standard procedure to wait 30 days before removing a boat left in the water, but they recognize the risk and they’re working on a solution. “It’s obviously a hazard to a lot of boaters out here,” said Mayo.

Categories: Local News, News

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