FWC: Over 2,000 Vessels 'Displaced' by Hurricane Ian
Florida - Friday October 21, 2022: Since the establishment of the Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline last week the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has received nearly 1,000 calls and assessed more than 2,000 vessels on state waters.
In response FWC has deployed 17 additional officers dedicated to responding to displaced vessels on state waters.
“The nature of the post-storm marine assessment response is complicated but crucial,” said Boating and Waterways Section Leader Maj. Rob Beaton. “The process will take time, but we are pleased with the progress so far and the support we have received. The safety of the public and responders is our top priority. Our responders are trained professionals, and we urge everyone in these areas to keep a safe distance away while they perform their duties.”
If a displaced vessel is insured, vessel owners should work with their insurance company to safely recover, remove, and if necessary, arrange for the disposal and destruction of the vessel. Vessel owners are further encouraged to hire a salvage company to recover their vessel to provide the safest method possible for the vessel and the environment. For tips and best practices regarding owners removing their own vessels, please see the guidelines posted at MyFWC.com/boating. Click on “Best Practices for Removal of Vessels Hurricane Ian.”
Owners of derelict vessels who lack the resources to have their boat repaired, or if their vessel is determined to be beyond repair, may release ownership of their vessel. This process can be initiated by contacting the FWC through the Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline at 850-488-5600 and requesting to turn over a derelict vessel. An FWC representative will then contact the owner to explain the waiver process and facilitate the potential turnover of ownership. To date, the FWC has received 15 waivers from affected boat owners.
For questions related to vessel removal or recovery on state waters, to report storm damaged, lost or abandoned boats on state waters, or to initiate the waiver process, please call the Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline at 850-488-5600 between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.