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Old 25-10-2016, 09:26   #1
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FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

MONROE COUNTY

The FWC Middle and Lower Keys Derelict Vessel team, Investigator Cox and Officer Plussa took to the waters of Marathon, Big Pine and Key West targeting derelict and pre-derelict or “At-Risk” vessels. Their efforts were aimed at tracking down owners of these environmental and navigational hazards, and taking steps for the owner to remove them from the water.


In many instances, these owners failed to come into compliance after multiple weeks, if not months, and arrest warrants were issued for their noncompliance. Multiple violators have been apprehended, including a Marathon man who attempted to move and hide his vessel after it being marked derelict by officers, another who refused to comply with the law, and a third whom had attempted to evade officers’ detection and was found in a trailer park in Marathon. Several other suspects are being actively sought.



During this phase of their operation, the FWC has found that many other derelict vessels have been removed from the waters by the owners compliantly, without using state tax dollars to remove them and without facing additional criminal penalty. Florida law authorizes FWC officers to identify, investigate, and remove any derelict vessel from the state waters that has been left, stored, or abandoned.
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Old 25-10-2016, 09:32   #2
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

Aaahh, the good old criminalization of poverty. As comedian Yakov Smirnov used to say - "Only in America!".

PS And as is usual - done under the guise of public safety.
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Old 25-10-2016, 09:33   #3
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

I wish they would do that in my area. We have three sailboats in the marsh within sight of my marina and a powerboat sunk in the channel. Nobody cares.
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Old 25-10-2016, 09:55   #4
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

Good. Long past time that it was done. A fair number of the boats down there have already been abandoned, and the owner hopes to get away without the liability of disposing of them. I'm glad the FWC is tracking down these owners and making them take care of their trash. Others are a real hazard to both navigation and the environment, and need to be moved for that reason.

Calling it the criminalization of poverty is just ridiculous beyond belief. At least, beyond belief to anyone who has actually seen the situation.

And if the FWC and the various counties had just been doing this all along, there probably never would have been any push to pass laws restricting anchoring.
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Old 25-10-2016, 10:17   #5
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Aaahh, the good old criminalization of poverty. As comedian Yakov Smirnov used to say - "Only in America!".

PS And as is usual - done under the guise of public safety.
Of course, poverty is an eye sore to the upper echelon and for that someone must be punished. God forbid they go after real criminals.....
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Old 25-10-2016, 10:42   #6
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Aaahh, the good old criminalization of poverty. As comedian Yakov Smirnov used to say - "Only in America!".

PS And as is usual - done under the guise of public safety.
What are you basing your assumption on?
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Old 25-10-2016, 10:53   #7
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

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Originally Posted by surb View Post
Of course, poverty is an eye sore to the upper echelon and for that someone must be punished. God forbid they go after real criminals.....
Are we trying to make these people victims? Maybe you should read further!

Officer Plussa was on patrol on Boot Key Harbor in an effort to locate and apprehend a known violator that had been switching between his multiple derelict vessels. Officer Plussa located him and monitored his actions on
board a marked and posted derelict vessel for a lengthy period of time. Officers Garrison and Munkelt arrived and the three
proceeded to stop and inspect the vessel. Officer Plussa did a follow-up derelict vessel inspection with the owner present and determined that the absence of motors, power,
rotten wooden decks,substantial dismantling, and the
overall junked condition in dicated it was still derelict. Additionally the suspect was delinquent in virtually all boating safety and registration requirements and had a marine toilet (MSD) pumping right into the bilges of the boat and over board into the water. The suspect had made no efforts to
repair or improve the vessel, and had attempted to scrape off the derelict vessel notice posting. Officer Plussa secured the suspect in a life jacket and handcuffs, placing him under arrest for storing a derelict vessel on state waters. Officer Plussa photographed the partially removed derelict vessel posting. This suspect had been the focus of a long-term, 3 month investigation of his multiple derelict by Investigator Cox. After the more than 15 previous citations and more than 5 law enforcement encounters with Officer Plussa, Investigator Cox, and other FWC and Sheriff’s officials, the suspect deliberately continued to remain in violation and out of compliance,
evading officers.

During a Post-Miranda interview with Officer Plussa, the suspect admitted to trying to remove the notice. He was booked into the Marathon Jail on 1 misdemeanor charge for

the derelict vessel and 8 boating citations,including the $250 fine for the MSD violation.


Officer Plussa was contacted by FWC Pilot Willman about a possible derelict vessel in a very shallow seagrass and mangrove area of Whiskey Creek, near Boot Key in
Marathon.

He attempted to get into the shallow area by patrol vessel but was unsuccessful, so he used a paddleboard on another day to get back to the vessel, documenting its registration numbers and GPS position. Officer Plussa and Investigator Cox took advantage of an unusually high tide caused by the tropical storm system to get back to the vessel by patrol boat. They inspected the vessel and determined it was derelict under multiple conditions and marked it accordingly with a notice.

The next day, Officer Plussa was contacted by Officer Adams that the vessel was being moved in another location in Marathon, possibly in an effort to conceal its location from the DV investigation team. Officer Plussa arrived and arrested the suspect for using, storing, and leaving derelict vessels on state waters. He was booked into the Marathon Jail without issue.


Officer Plussa and Investigator Cox inspected a group of sailing vessels for which Officer Plussa had issued the single owner multiple misdemeanors for each vessel regarding their registration, title, and other status. After months of exchanges,16 encounters, and documentation, they obtained a warrant for his arrest for violation of probation as

he did not bring his vessels into compliance. Both officers returned to the vessel the subject lived on and directed him onto their patrol vessel. The subject did so but pulled out his camera and began recording the encounter. Officer Plussa
advised they had a warrant for his arrest and directed him
to turn around to be handcuffed. The subject refused to comply after three consecutive lawful verbal commands. Officer Plussa assisted the subject in turning around and secured him into handcuffs without issue. The suspect was arrested and booked into the Marathon Jail accordingly.

Oh yeah, these people are surely victims - NOT!

I'm sure you would love to go swimming in Boot Key Harbor around the boat that was discharging raw sewerage.
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Old 25-10-2016, 11:38   #8
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

I used to work with boats in Boot Key Harbor, it's a nice place, but a lot of those vessels are derelict and need to be removed. And maybe if this had taken place sooner then all the anti-anchoring laws running rampant in FL wouldn't have happened.
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Old 25-10-2016, 12:43   #9
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Aaahh, the good old criminalization of poverty. ..................
Now that's the stupidest thing I've seen today. Or this week.

If you can't afford to maintain a boat, why do you think the rest of the citizens should have to look at it or pay to dispose of it?

You can't abandon your car on public property, why is your boat any different.

You go ahead and be poor if it suits you but don't expect the rest of us to pay your way. How about you just get a job and support yourself?
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Old 25-10-2016, 12:45   #10
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

Quote:
Originally Posted by surb View Post
Of course, poverty is an eye sore to the upper echelon and for that someone must be punished. God forbid they go after real criminals.....
Second stupidest thing I've seen this week.
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Old 25-10-2016, 14:12   #11
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

Derelict/abandoned boats are no different then trash floating out on the waters. If people can not afford a boat then they should take on other activities that they can afford.
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Old 25-10-2016, 14:30   #12
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

Quote:
If people can not afford a boat then they should take on other activities that they can afford.
Del, that is likely just what they are doing: giving up on boating and moving on to something else... leaving their mess behind.

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Old 25-10-2016, 14:33   #13
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

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Del, that is likely just what they are doing: giving up on boating and moving on to something else... leaving their mess behind.

Jim
And leaving their mess behind to be cleaned up on the taxpayers dime.
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Old 25-10-2016, 16:38   #14
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

Not so simple as the comments above would have you believe (from both sides)... And I speak as a resident of Boot Key Harbor (Yes I am compliant).

On the one hand, we do have a fair amount of "Slum Lords" in the harbor who buy up cheap vessels and rent them out as affordable housing to locals who while full time employed, are unable to afford the local rent ($1100-1600 / month for a converted motel room). Then again, we also have a fair amount of "squatters" in the anchorages who tend to occasionally collect things that do not belong to them. While many of these vessels should be condemned, a large amount of them while not pretty are usable. Sometimes they, and their residents offend the sensibilities of visiting snow birds, but well.... You're not in La Jolla or Montauk and we tend to be a little more relaxed here.

Don't get me wrong... We all share the same front yard and I don't want to swim among the "brown trout" while scrubbing my hull. And I don't want to deal with the thieves and folks with loose wiring who sometimes show up. That being said, a 30 year old trawler who is tired and in need of some paint, is not a derelict, and the gal who owns her goes to work every day, pays her mooring fees on time and is a member of this community.

As I said, it can be a fine line... Our Harbor Master (who is also the manager of the City Marina) FWC and the Monroe County Sheriff's Marine Patrol do their best to keep up with it. It's a small town, and everybody knows pretty much who is who. I happened to be in the Tiki at the City Marina when they brought the first guy ashore (hooked up and in a life jacket) and also caught wind of the second arrest a couple days later. Neither of these fellows will be missed, and neither will their boats with no holding tanks and lousy ground tackle.

As I said, not always a simple answer, especially when you don't live with the questions day to day

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Old 25-10-2016, 17:01   #15
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Re: FWC Derelict Enforcement Marathon

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Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
Not so simple as the comments above would have you believe (from both sides)... And I speak as a resident of Boot Key Harbor (Yes I am compliant).

On the one hand, we do have a fair amount of "Slum Lords" in the harbor who buy up cheap vessels and rent them out as affordable housing to locals who while full time employed, are unable to afford the local rent ($1100-1600 / month for a converted motel room). Then again, we also have a fair amount of "squatters" in the anchorages who tend to occasionally collect things that do not belong to them. While many of these vessels should be condemned, a large amount of them while not pretty are usable. Sometimes they, and their residents offend the sensibilities of visiting snow birds, but well.... You're not in La Jolla or Montauk and we tend to be a little more relaxed here.

Don't get me wrong... We all share the same front yard and I don't want to swim among the "brown trout" while scrubbing my hull. And I don't want to deal with the thieves and folks with loose wiring who sometimes show up. That being said, a 30 year old trawler who is tired and in need of some paint, is not a derelict, and the gal who owns her goes to work every day, pays her mooring fees on time and is a member of this community.

As I said, it can be a fine line... Our Harbor Master (who is also the manager of the City Marina) FWC and the Monroe County Sheriff's Marine Patrol do their best to keep up with it. It's a small town, and everybody knows pretty much who is who. I happened to be in the Tiki at the City Marina when they brought the first guy ashore (hooked up and in a life jacket) and also caught wind of the second arrest a couple days later. Neither of these fellows will be missed, and neither will their boats with no holding tanks and lousy ground tackle.

As I said, not always a simple answer, especially when you don't live with the questions day to day

Thank you for injecting some reality into the conversation!

It's always fun when those from afar that know nothing inject their bleeding heart opinions!

And, whenever I visit BKH, I'm always impressed with the first class operation!
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