BVI News

Gov’t to pay half-million to dispose of 207 abandoned vessels

Photo provided

Government has been tasked to foot the bill to dispose of more than 200 boats that were damaged during the 2017 hurricanes.

Natural Resources Minister Vincent Wheatley told BVI News on Monday that the Ministry is currently partnering with Nanny Cay to properly dispose of the vessels.

He said: “We have about 207 sunken yachts that we have to remove from the water. So we took out four boats, and we used four different methods for destroying them. We can then decide which is the most efficient and cost-effective way for discarding of the boats based on the report that should be finished this week.”

Wheatley said one of the methods used was utilizing a crane to tear apart the vessels.

Upon completion, the discarded boats will be placed at Pockwood Pond and later shipped to the United States.

“It is probably [costing the government] half a million dollars. It could be more to have it removed and disposed of,” Wheatley further told our news centre.

Moving forward, the minister is urging vessel owners to store their boats on land during a major weather event such as those which occurred two years ago.

“We realize for boats, the best place is on land during the hurricane season,” he pointed out.

While describing they entire situation as a learning experience, the Natural Resources Minister said certain protective and enforcement measures are in the pipeline in a bid to prevent having the cost to dispose of abandoned vessels falling on government.

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  1. hog city says:

    Sea cows bay suppose to be a hurricane shelter for boats, especially the ferries but the harbour is in dire needs of dredging

  2. Ausar says:

    Look at how the mangroves are destroyed by an overabundance of dirt!

    ..Takes away from the beauty of these islands!

  3. Not2Sure says:

    I imagine that they pay way more than that to dispose of all the derelict cars lying around.

  4. Concern says:

    These boats are registered to owners, why are they not be fined for leaving their vessels for others to clean up the mess. Suggestion, if government want to pay the bill to do so, go for it, but hold the owners responsible as well – send them a bill to recoup some of the costs associated with this process. Same for vehicles.

    Like 24
    • Anonymous says:

      You want the expats to pay to remove their boats. How about the Belongers pay to remove their derelict cars and boats from their yards and roads. Always looking to blame the whites and have someone pay to take care of you. Grow up and act like adults.

      Like 7
      Dislike 3
    • Winston says:

      You are so correct. It is wrong for anyone to leave their mess for us taxpayers to pay for. What I do not understand is how work permit holders are able to get a renewal when their mess is on the beach affecting tourism, which is the industry that many of them are in.

      We are all paying for their irresponsibility. Most of these people are known and should be identified and held accountable.

    • CW says:

      None of them are here. How you make them pay?

      • Jane says:

        Government should sell the debt to international debt collection agencies. Those guys pay 10% of the debt value and then chase up locally. Most owners are North American and EU citizens…you cannot escape debt collectors there. People with boats are rich enough to pay and they should. They dont get away with this in USVI.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      The guy in Shytekicker Idaho gets the bill.

      For his wrecked uninsured boat in BVI.

      He is going to pay?


      And what can the Village Elders of the Backward Virgin Islands do about it?

      Diddly squat.

  5. Wild West says:

    They need to look into why a certain person is allowed to have not one but TWO boats at both sides of the road up Fahie hill. The BIG must be the only place where boats stay on land more than in the water???

  6. Kingfish says:

    Were these boats insured ? when property is insured and suffers a total loss the insurance carrier pays the owner the replacement cost or actual cash value {based of the type of insurance policy the owners has} once paid by the insurance carrier the property is now owned by the insurance who is fully responsible for the removal, sale or final destruction of the property. Why is the government footing the bill ?

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
    • Abandoned says:

      These are abandoned vessels, there is no insurance coverage, no owner coming forward. That’s why government footing bill.
      Same reason they footing bill for vehicle cleaning, debris cleaning, road repair, etc, etc…

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Fanomc says:

      You are so correct !…once those boats are written off they become property of the insurance company so they should pay for removal of their vessels.

  7. Sounds Like ... says:

    $Million vessels owned by rich people who may have collected the insurance claims. If so, the insurers are now responsible for discarding of the boats. If the insurer or insurers gone bankrupt then that’s a different issue.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Only if the insurance company agrees it is a complete write off.

      Which they hate to do.

      If they pay for the cost of repairs the owner still owns it.

      And he might pocket the payout and leave the boat where it is for someone else to take care of.

  8. Jimmie says:

    I agree with “concern” as “kingfish” above – someone owns these vessels and are more than likely insured. Who are these people. They must be held accountable.
    I also think it might be a good idea to offer these vessels for sale to the highest bidder that someone may end up with a boat might have otherwise out of reach financially. Hold an auction!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  9. A Bargain says:

    This is probably going to cost more than stated and it will still be a bargain compared to landslide recovery costs.
    There is no better time than now, with salvage equipment already at our disposal. Every sunken wreck than can be, should be removed.
    The coastlines are part of the tourist product, the BVI is the sailing capital of the world, we cannot afford NOT to to clean them!
    A devastating hurricane caused unprecedented damage. It needs cleaning up.
    This is a unique situation, one where all the “old salty dog” boats were swept to their deaths. They are now abandoned, their owners long gone and it brings to end an era which will not be repeated as insurance and government control will ensure.
    But it still needs cleaning.

  10. Ken says:

    How about some actual photos of these damaged boats? Maybe they can be repaired???? and maybe some of us would buy them…

  11. Sparkie says:

    Half a million divided by 207 boats is $2415 per boat , which will not even come close to moving them, let alone scrap them and ship them off island. The number will be in the several millions.

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