Brevard County continues never-ending task of removing derelict boats

Workers scoop up 25-footer Wednesday

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – At Kelly Park on Wednesday, a 25-foot cabin cruiser was the latest derelict boat removed from Brevard County waters. 

The county used an excavator on a barge to pick up the abandoned eyesore.

The boating and waterways program coordinator said derelict vessels are not the impression the county wants to give tourists.

"First off, it's the boaters' responsibilities," Matt Culver said. "When there's a storm coming through, the boaters need to make sure that their vessels are anchored securely."

For 12 years, Culver has been in charge of removing hundreds of boats.

With limited funding, Culver picks which boats will be removed based on how hazardous they are to the environment and the public.

"Once the law enforcement reporting is done and then the securing of the grants is done, it could be a year before a boat is removed," Culver said of the process.

One of the boats the county will likely not be removing in the near-future can be seen from the road just north of the State Road 528 causeway.

On Wednesday, a tourist from Michigan pulled over because she said she wanted to take pictures.

"I'm glad no one's on it and everybody's safe," Heidi Vallier said.

She called the sunken boat with graffiti on it a "train wreck."

Culver said he gets frustrated with the long removal process.

He said the county removes around 30 boats every year from the Indian River Lagoon.

"It's unfortunately been a never-ending process," Culver said. "We start to see the waterways clear up,  and then a hurricane comes through and I end up with 50 boats or more scattered throughout the lagoon."

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