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Boats that appear abandoned in Hogtown Bayou draw scrutiny from neighbors

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 6:10 PM CDT
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SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG) - During the summer, Hogtown Bayou in Santa Rosa Beach is busy with people launching their boats for a day on the water.

But people who live around the bayou say, the water is dangerous because of boats that have been sitting there for years.

"The white boat behind us has been there about five years... six years, and the blue boat is about two years," said Adam Crum, who lives on Hogtown Bayou in Santa Rosa Beach.

Crum said the boats have come loose several times.

"You never know where the boats are so coming in at night, the boats could have shifted and next thing you know, a boater will hit one of the boats coming in," said Crum.

He also said the boats are bad for the environment.

"You'll see a lot of 'slick' on the water where probably the engine seals are breaking, and that's causing oil and everything else to leak into the bay," said Crum.

Crum says he saw more boats in Hogtown Bayou after Hurricane Michael.

"I think it's just a lot of derelict boat owners that just don't want the boats anymore so they think they can leave them anywhere," said Crum.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said there's nothing they can do, because legally the boat can be there.

"As long as that boat is still kept in good repair, it has to have up to date registration, proper lighting at night, and things like that, as long as those criteria are met, there's nothing that says a boat has to have somebody on it from time to time," said Robert Ramos, public information officer for the FWC.

They even looked up one of the boats that appeared to have an expired registration sticker.

"In our database that vessel is up to date, it's actually good through July of 2020," said Ramos.

Crum says he wants more accountability when it comes to anchoring the boats.

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