Volunteers remove abandoned boats in Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Volunteers remove abandoned boats

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Volunteers are working hard removing abandoned boats from area waterways. It's a mess that's seen up and down the river and is extremely dangerous to boaters.

Bubba Strickland, Savannah Riverkeeper Board Member, said, "You have hazards to navigation. You've got environmental hazards as well."

Many of the vessels have remained in the water unattended for quite some time, one being the Captain Van.

Strickland said, "This one sank in Thunderbolt about six or eight weeks ago during a storm."

And then there's the Justin Bradley. It's the same boat that caught fire back in October 2011.

Piece by piece, volunteers are now hauling away the Captain Van and the Justin Bradley. But breaking the boats down is not an easy task, as Dana Rutland with TowBoatUS, explained, "We had to go and put lift bags on it and then it's a process of putting enough lift on it and then we stood it up, brought some equipment in and got it standing straight up so we could pump it out."

"They'll recycle what they can, as far as the scrap metal. The waste will have to go to the appropriate landfill," said Strickland.

The volunteers are working closely with the Savannah Riverkeeper, who says funding for these types of projects has been cut. This means removal is left up to volunteers.

Rutland said, "When they have to start cutting their budgets back, they start cutting back on things they feel aren't necessary and unfortunately this is one of them that got the axe."

But with tools of their own, the volunteers are determined to get all of the abandoned boats out of the water.

There are three more boats that the volunteers are hoping to remove. They're awaiting approval from Chatham County officials.

Volunteers are still need. To find out more information, click here.

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Abandoned boats

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