Boat owners can get help with Hurricane Ian-damaged derelict boats through a FWC waiver program, but time is running out. Download hi-res photo
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov. 9, 2022 ─ Boat owners whose vessels have been damaged and destroyed by Hurricane Ian, but are unable to pay costs for salvage and disposal, could get help from the state under a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Hurricane Ian waiver program, but time is running out to apply.
The waivers, which require boat owners to release ownership of the vessel, are for the removal and destruction of their Hurricane Ian-damaged vessels. Owners must apply by Tuesday, November 15, by calling the FWC Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline at 850-488-5600 and request to turn over their derelict vessels. An FWC representative will then explain the waiver process and facilitate the potential turnover of ownership.
If a derelict vessel is not brought into compliance by Nov. 15, it will be treated as any other derelict vessel. An FWC press release acknowledges, “FWC will not be charging displaced vessel owners with a criminal violation of Florida Law, but the decision to hold (derelict) vessel owners responsible for removal, destruction and disposal cost could be made at a future date.”
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) manager of government Affairs David Kennedy said, “For those who are unable to take care of their destroyed boats, this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get help. Owners will not be charged for any removal costs. It will also help the environment, improve navigation and rid our waterways of harmful eyesores that linger after each storm. We greatly thank FWC for making this opportunity available.”
The FWC waiver program targets vessels left by the storm in public waterways only. As of November 4, FWC reports that 50 waivers had been received for affected boat owners in the Lee County area.
“Every boat owner is responsible for the salvage of their vessel, but if you can’t, we urge you to contact the FWC hotline immediately,” added Kennedy.
Suggested social media post:
.@BoatUS urges Hurricane Ian derelict-vessel owners to apply for no-cost FWC salvage, disposal assistance. Application deadline is Nov. 15 https://bit.ly/3G22Os0 #hurricaneian #florida #boat #boating
About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
Celebrating more than 55 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group with more than 800,000 dues-paying members. BoatUS is the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill, fighting for their rights. The TowBoatUS® fleet is available 24/7 to assist our members on the water when boats break down or run aground with some 600 vessels and 300-plus locations across North America, bringing our members safely back to the launch ramp, marina or dock. On the road, we are The Boat Owners Auto Club™, helping ensure roadside trailer and tow vehicle breakdowns won’t slow you down. BoatUS offers GEICO boat insurance policies that give boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and the superior service they need. Award-winning BoatUS Magazine is the largest circulation recreational marine publication in the U.S. with engaging content that speaks to the passion for boat ownership, while our 501(c)(3) nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water offers the nation’s only free online boating safety course and many other programs that keep boaters safe and our waters clean. Visit BoatUS.com.