City of Jacksonville begins removing abandoned, derelict boats

Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The City of Jacksonville on Monday began a project that’s meant to clean up its waterways and fix a problem that has literally just been sitting there.

The city is working to remove a large boat in New River that has been sitting there for quite a while, abandoned and quite the eyesore. Officials said city crews will dismantle and dispose of the boat starting at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of the Marina Cafe.

“To get to this point is huge for us,” said Madison McCann, Jacksonville water quality technician. “And when a vessel like this rests on the bottom, it just destroys the marine life underneath it.”

The boat partially sank in the New River but was pulled ashore so it could be easily dismantled. It’s the first vessel as part of an ordinance recently adopted by the city to fix the lingering problem.

Work on tearing down the boat is a team effort. Officials say the city’s Fleet Services Division will carefully cut the boat apart. Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services will assist in the demolition, the Streets Division will haul the debris away and the Stormwater and Water Quality Division will monitor the safety of the river.

Officials said 15 boats were identified as needing removal. Some are partially sunk and can spill oil or other chemicals into New River. Other vessels are grounded ashore but could float free and collide with other operating boats or docks.

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