The number of damaged or destroyed boats removed from Florida Keys waters sat at 1,203 Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The vessels, thrown about when Hurricane Irma hit the Keys as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 10, are referred to as “displaced.”
Statewide, 1,643 boats have been removed from the water by personnel with what’s called Emergency Support Function 10, which consists of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Responders are prioritizing the removal of vessels based on their potential negative environmental impacts.
Owners of displaced vessels who lack the resources to have their boat repaired, or if their vessel is determined to be beyond repair, can release ownership of their vessel through a waiver provided by the FWC. The process can be initiated by contacting the FWC through the Vessel Removal Hotline at (305) 985-3744 and requesting to turn over a displaced vessel. An FWC representative will then contact the owner to explain the waiver process and facilitate the potential turnover of ownership.
Members of the media interested in additional information are asked to contact the Joint Information Center at 305-985-2867. Past press releases, video and image assets may be found at www.news.uscg.mil/District-7.