Derelict boat nearly sinks in Turner Creek

By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A shrimp boat that has been an eye soar in Turner Creek off of Wilmington Island is now causing new problems. On Monday, the boat nearly sank and it could be leaking fuel and other chemicals.

"He's getting it slowly pumped out, it's come up a foot, maybe two feet since this morning," said Dana Ritland, owner of Tow Boat U.S. Savannah,

Rutland kept a close eye on the shrimp boat all day on Monday.

"It looked like it was going to sink this morning," he said.

The Capt. Keit has been anchored in Turner Creek just across from Hogan's Marina for nearly three years.

When it almost sank on Monday morning, the Savannah-Chatham Police Department's Marine Patrol Unit and the Coast Guard responded.

The owner of the boar was onboard still trying to save the vessel.

"The owner is out there pumping it out, he has refused help from anybody else, so now it's just kind of a waiting game," Rutland said.

He says it's just a matter of time before the boat does sink.

"It's just going to go to the bottom and we will see who can come up with the funds to salvage it," he noted.

The people who live and work on the waterways say this kind of problem is only getting worse. There are more than a dozen boats that have already sunk like the Capt. Keit. People say it's not just a problem here, but up and down the east coast.

"It's just a product of the collapse of the shrimping industry, you can't give a shrimp boat away," Rutland told WTOC.

Rutland wishes the derelict boat would go away, but since the Coast Guard say it's not a navigational or health hazard at this time, the Cpt. Keit isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"It the meantime we watch and wait and say, 'is it going to sink today?'" Rutland said.

WTOC was unable to contact the owner of the Cpt. Keit. The man onboard did not want to talk to WTOC.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.