Sinking ship to be removed this week - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Sinking ship to be removed this week

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Stuart, FL - A boat that's been stuck in the St. Lucie River for a week, will soon go from being an inconveince to an expensive bill for taxpayers.  The Endeavour ran aground Monday night, while headed to Haiti with supplies.

It's been one week since the Endeavor ran aground behind Lisa Mahieu's home.

"It's been going on eight days. I think we've been wondering what's been taking so long," said Mahieu.

The property off Jamacia Lane, overlooks the St. Lucie River.  The boat hasn't been removed yet because divers continue to work on the lifts that will float it so it can be towed to shore. In the mean time, residents have to deal with the nuisance.

"We've been able to smell the fuel. We don't know if it's coming from the crane or the boat. Plus you have the sound of the crane out there," she said.

Crews have removed all the diesel barrels that were on the boat.  Majority of the fuel that spilled in the water, has been cleaned up.
Now, they're working to get the rest of the cargo off the boat, which officials said is about 140,000 pounds.
But it's the bill that will hit the taxpayers once it's towed.

"None of us are happy," said Lisa. "An episode like that cost a lot of money."

"When the boat reaches the local manufacturing sight, that's when it becomes a county operation and at that point we're expecting a bill in the tens of thosands of dollars," said Martin County spokesperson, Gabriella Ferraro.

It's money that will come out of the general fund.

"Well, there comes a time when the government has to step in and take responsibility for issues that need responsibility and the boat owner has not assumed responsibility for this boat so it is Martin County's responsibility." she said. "We want to do what's in the best interest of our boaters and our community and we want that boat out as quickly as possible."

Ferraro said the county said they will do what ever they can to try and get the funds reimbursed.

Calls to the owner of the boat have gone unanswered.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat should be ready to tow within a day or two.
 

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