Sinking boat’s owner facing sanctions after removal deadline passes

Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-08 18:15:25-04

Portsmouth, Va. - A boat has been partially submerged in the waters of the Elizabeth River for more than four months, resting on the bottom of the river across from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

Last month, a judge ordered the owner to remove it by October 5th, or else face sanctions.

Three days after that deadline, it's still there. And it's a sight that people are sick of seeing.

"It looks terrible. The glass is busted out on it. I mean, when the tide comes up, you can see the stuff inside the boat just floating around," says nearby resident Erin Coppersmith.

According to the Coast Guard, the boat was anchored in that spot at the end of May after the owner stopped paying his dock fees and was kicked out of the marina where he'd been keeping it.

It's been allowed to stay there for so long because the owner was able to keep it floating again every time the city served him with a notice to remove it.

"I've seen a guy jump off the dock across the way there with his cooler and he'll swim across, stay on it for three days, pump it out and then swim back and then of course it's right back to the same way it is now," Coppersmith says.

The owner was finally taken to court by the City of Portsmouth in September, which is when the judge gave him the October 5th deadline.

Since that date has come and gone, the Portsmouth Police Department says the City Attorney's Office is in the process of filing paperwork to take the owner back to court so that a judge can set sanctions and determine what will happen to the boat.

Boat sinking in river near Portsmouth Naval to be removed by Oct. 5th