The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Marine and Ports Services issued an advisory today, notifying the public that 17 abandoned boats – owners unknown – will shortly be removed from the water and disposed of.

A spokesperson said: “The 17 ‘unknown’ abandoned vessels are located in the Ferry Reach, Mullet Bay, Coney Island and Mill’s Creek areas and are not only unsightly but also present a hazard to other motoring vessels.

“Government cannot currently find any characteristic names or boat registration details on these abandoned and derelict boats. However, if you are the owner of any of these boats, you have 30 days from today’s date (February 5) to remove your vessel from its current location and relocate it to a site which does not contravene the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 2002, the Marine Board Act 1962, the Regulations or any other law of Bermuda.

“Should you wish to identify to Government whether any of these vessels belong to you then you can voluntarily agree to allow the Ministry to dispose of it at no cost to you by completing a consent form and returning it to the Department of Marine & Ports Services.

“Consent forms are available by visiting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Headquarters in the Botanical Gardens or the Department of Marine & Ports Services.

“However, if you do not respond within 30 days from today, your vessel may be disposed of and if the vessel identity is subsequently determined upon recovery then the costs incurred as a result of said disposal may be payable by you.

“Pursuant to the Marine & Ports Authority (Dumping) Regulations 1967, the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs may direct the disposal of any vessel which has been abandoned and is likely to become unsightly or impedes the free navigation of the territorial waters of Bermuda. In doing so, the Minister may direct that person responsible for the abandonment of the vessel be liable for the costs associated with the disposal of the vessel.

“For all abandoned or derelict boats where the owner is known, Government will be contacting those boat owners in due course, prior to the boats’ removal.”

For more information, please call 239-2356.