In late September 2020, an approximately 30-foot-long unnamed sailing vessel arrived in the Richardson’s Bay anchorage. The vessel had no registration, no propulsion or steering, the decks were delaminating and exhibiting signs of advanced decay, and the standing/running rigging was fatigued beyond its useful lifespan. Accordingly, a Notice of Marine Debris was posted on the vessel on October 1, 2020.
On at least 3 separate occasions between October 1, 2020 and present-day, RBRA staff and law enforcement visited the subject vessel. Each time, the occupant was informed about the 72-hour limit for anchoring in Richardson’s Bay and reminded that his vessel was identified and posted as Marine Debris. Unfortunately, the occupant refused to comply with the rules and regulations for anchoring in Richardson’s Bay.
Despite these warnings and trying to work with the occupant for over three months after the original Notice of Marine Debris, the vessel went adrift during the January 18th/19th wind event. It was likely that the vessel had collided with one or more vessels as it careened through the anchorage.
On Sunday, January 24, 2020, it was brought to staff’s attention via social media that the vessel had indeed sustained damage during the high wind event and that the vessel occupant had requested removal from the vessel due to a vertical crack forming along the hull.
Given the forecast for more severe weather on January 26, 2021, the excessively dilapidated condition of the subject vessel, knowledge that the vessel had already gone adrift once before and sustained damage, the fact that the vessel was anchored in violation of the rules and regulations for anchoring in Richardson’s Bay, and the knowledge that the occupant had departed the vessel (presumably because they feared for their safety in this vessel), the RBRA took action to protect the public and environment and towed the subject vessel to the Army Corps of Engineers debris dock.