City of Cape Coral aims to prevent abandoned boats by turning Bimini Basin into mooring field

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A proposed ordinance to turn the Bimini Basin into a mooring field is getting closer to reality. Cape Coral city officials are revisiting the subject following public discussions in 2020 when additional derelict vessels appeared in the basin.

Last week our crews were there as officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida DEP, FWC, and Cape Coral Fire and Police Departments swarmed a private property off Tudor Drive as a semi-abandoned boat started to sink. Officials noticed the gas cap on “Smooth” off, leaking gasoline into the water. Its owner confessed he purchased the 34-foot boat 30 days prior for $1,500 as it was tied up to the seawall. 

He said it had engine issues. From time-to-time when he would visit the property to work on “Smooth”, he would have to shoo off the same three squatters. Officials put a “Derelict” notice on the vessel. 

City Councilman Tom Hayden said the city is working with The Army Corps of Engineers and the DEP to create a mooring field ordinance to prevent this from happening again. The city would charge boat owners a small fee for an assigned mooring ball. 

“Right now, as long as you’re living on the vessel, you can pretty much stay there the whole time,’ he said, “We’re trying to move forward with an ordinance that will legally allow you to keep your boat there for 5 days, then you have to leave for a day, and then you can come back for five more days.”

It’s unclear when City Council would put the item up for a vote. Councilman Hayden said details like the basin’s boat capacity and daily mooring rates would likely be made into a separate ordinance. 

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Tags: Abandoned boatsBimini BasinCape Coral City Councilmooring field ordinance

 

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