The Longboat Key Police Department has been in contact with the last listed owner who claims he sold the boat but has no paperwork proving it.
| 10:23 a.m. November 1, 2016
The Longboat Key Police Department has declared a 40-foot sailboat that sank in 8 feet of water after Hurricane Hermine Sept. 1 derelict, and transported the remains to a landfill.
It cost the town $5,200 to raise and remove the vessel from Sarasota Bay over two days, Oct. 25 and 26, according to Deputy Chief Frank Rubino.
“We charged the last person with a misdemeanor for that and are looking into the process for pursuing criminal charges,” Rubino said. “The town would go after him for restitution.”
The Legislature made it easier to declare vessels derelict with legislation passed in 2015, said Town Manager David Bullock.
“No one wants to take someone’s private property but, when it sat on the bottom for more than two months, it’s a pretty safe bet it’s been abandoned,” Bullock said. “It had not been moved for a long time, maybe a couple years.”
Blenker Boatworks and Marina of Bradenton raised the sunken sailboat. Rubino said the job was complicated by barnacles on the wreck that kept cutting through lines tethered to inflated bladders used to raise the vessel.
The sailboat is the second derelict vessel removed by Longboat Key officials this year. The Mystical Dreamer was towed from Longbeach Village shores Jan. 8.
Longboat Key has budgeted $10,000 for derelict vessel removal and expects a grant from the West Coast Inland Navigation District to help defray its expenses, Rubino said.