Removal of derelict vessels should involve us – Marina assoc.

Removal of derelict vessels should involve us – Marina assoc.
Storm damaged vehicles and vessels post Dorian.

Ministry plans to remove, match derelict vehicles and vessels to owners

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM) Executive Director Basil Smith said as the Ministry of the Environment seeks to collect vehicles and vessels strewn across Grand Bahama and Abaco and secure them, it is hoped that the insurers are an integral part of the process.

Speaking to Eyewitness News, Smith pointed out that owners on both islands have valuable boats that are insured.

According to the ministry’s Debris Management Plan, storm damaged vehicles and vessels that continue to litter the impacted islands will be secured in a designated area, and information will be collected on them where available to match them to the respective owners.

Cleanup efforts continue on both islands nearly three months after the destructive storm.

“Vehicles and vessels currently litter the roadside because of the 18-23 foot storm surge from Hurricane Dorian,” the report said.

It continues: “Vehicles and vessels will be physical removed by the best means available with forms or wheel loader with forks onto a flatbed and secured for hauling to staging site.

Each vehicle or vessel will be secured in a fenced area to be catalogued and assigned a space.

Each week, vehicle and vessel identification spreadsheets will be delivered to the department to allow government to contact owners to schedule recovery, the report notes.

Damaged boats litter the streets of Abaco post Dorian.

Smith said: “The problem which you are describing of boats on land, which need to be cleared away, we haven’t actually been formally invited as far as I am aware to participate in this aspect of the process, but certainly we would assume that the marina association would have some useful role to play in identifying the boat owners.

He continued: “My only suggestion would be that certainly the insurance angle ought to be pursued because that is certain to be an area of great interests. People would have substantially priced boats and would be well insured and the insurance companies would be actively involved at this stage, I am sure.”

Smith pointed out that in the immediate aftermath of the storm, sunken vessels created a hazard to the boats traveling to the affected islands to perform evacuations. He said the association asked “very enthusiastic” boaters from Florida who volunteered to assist in the process of removing the sunken vessels.

“Boaters wanted to come over virtually immediately, but we had to actually ask them to hold back until the waters were safe, which eventually happened and the port comptroller declared the safety of certain areas,” he said.

“There was an enormous response.”

Cleanup efforts continue on both islands nearly three months after the destructive storm.