Abandoned Boats Present Hazards on the San Joaquin Delta

CONTRA COSTA (KCBS)— Todd Thalhamer of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has been working with Sacramento County marine patrol deputies to get abandoned boats out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Apparently the aimlessly floating vessels present a real hazard to recreational boaters, fisherman and to the environment.

This week alone at least 20 so-called derelict boats were removed from the water.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

According to Thalhamer the abandoned ships have been a problem for years and it’s getting worse.

“These things are not anchored, they’re not docked. They’re floating around. In high tide, they’ll bounce from levy to levy. At night these things have no navigational markers on them,” he explained.

Thalhamer’s agency teamed up with Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies and together they plucked the vessels from the water.

He said one abandoned barge must have been floating for 50 years.

Thalhamer highlighted how costly their efforts to remove and recycle the vessels were.

“We’re looking at probably $10 million worth of work in the delta in the Bay Area region,” Thalhamer added.

He said the downward economy has played a role here and that boat owners who would fix-up old ships now abandon them because they don’t have the money for repairs.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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