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Hillsborough County removes abandoned boats from Alafia River

People are complaining that the derelict boats are an eyesore and a navigation hazard.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Following several complaints from community members, Hillsborough County on Tuesday pulled four abandoned boats from the Alafia River. 

According to the county, the derelict boats have been there for months because getting the permits is time-consuming. But boaters have complained that they are an eyesore and a navigation hazard.

Divers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and county employees will float any boats resting on the bottom of the river, then tow them to the nearby boat ramp.

They'll then be smashed up and removed.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission issues citations and fines when people leave their boats in the water too long, and in bad condition. And they issue orders of removal if the people can't be found and held accountable.  

It's a felony to abandon a boat. It costs $7,000 to $8,000 to remove the vessels. The state repays 75% to the entity that removes the vessel.

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