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Chatham struggles with sinking shrimp boat

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POSTED: June 16, 2012 4:00 p.m.

SAVANNAH — A sinking shrimp boat highlights the potential danger faced by boaters and property owners when vessels are abandoned on waterways in the Savannah area, county officials say.

Crews spent much of last week trying to upright the derelict shrimper Dammit after it was broke loose from its moorings and began to drift.

Police and Coast Guard personnel were called to Crooked Creek on Tuesday because the boat had drifted aground and was listing to one side, said Julian Miller, a spokesman for Savannah-Chatham metro police.

The county has little jurisdiction in the area because they don’t own the river bottoms, Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone said.

The county is looking into how abandoned boats should be handled, she said.

“We don’t allow cars to be abandoned on our roads, and I don’t think we should allow boats to be abandoned in our waterways,” Stone said.

Abandoned shrimp boats, which often sink, have been an issue in other communities along Georgia’s coast.

In Brunswick, several shrimp boats have sunk at the city dock in recent years. Officials there say that removing the vessels has become a costly problem for the city, partly because boat owners often don’t have the money to raise sunken vessels.



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