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Burned-out shrimp boat remains in Anclote River

A sunken shrimp boat has become part of the scenery at the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs. The owner cannot afford to have it removed and now the state will decide the next move.

A month and a half after the Skye Marie caught fire, her owner has moved on to find other work, but the sunken ship still sits in the middle of the Anclote River.

Everything valuable on board has been removed leaving a charred mess after 6,000 gallons of fuel caught fire in May, sinking the boat.

Billy Harris, the owner of the Sky Marie, has said from the beginning that he did not have insurance and cannot afford to have the boat moved.

Now, the FWC has started the process of declaring the ship a derelict vessel. That means it has been abandoned and left in public waters. The declaration will allow the FWC to move forward with the paperwork necessary to have it removed.

It could take months and other boat captains in the area say the boat is a large obstacle in the middle of the waterway.

“It’s not so much an eye sore as it is a hindrance to the fuel dock,” said David Johnson who captains a grouper boat. “Lots of big boats come in and out of there and with it being where it is right now we can’t get to and from the dock like we need to. Also, there’s a few boats there’s a few boats that actually dock at the end of the dock which is what that boat was doing when it caught on fire.”

Harris has moved to Massachusetts to find other work.

Once the boat is removed, Harris will receive a bill to cover the costs. There is no estimate on how much it could be.


America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln


  • rock_fishrock_fish Posts: 11,733 AG
    Good addition to the last shrimp boat they sunk
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,419 Admiral
    I wonder if that boat is salvageable ? Seems like somebody with enough money would come along and take it off the state's hands. Maybe it's rusted all to hell idk.
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    How do you not have insurance?
  • ThePigskinCaptainThePigskinCaptain Posts: 390 Officer
    I can tell you how they don't have insurance, they cannot afford it. I believe this was a wooden shrimper and couple that with the fact that commercial fishing routinely ranks in the top three to five most dangerous jobs in the US, the owner would likely have been saddled with an insurance bill annually around 15K or more annually. People seem to think that many commercial operators are rolling in cash, but that is simply not the case. You will see the end of the shrimping industry around the Gulf region within the next decade. The same high fuel costs which are killing recreational guys are hitting the commercial guys just as seriously. These vessels are not working on a high profit margin. Farm-raised, imported shrimp which flood the US market kill the price for domestic caught shrimp coupled with sky-rocketing operational costs. These operations are no different than figuring out the family budget. They have to figure out how to keep things afloat and if the vessel is paid off, insurance is usually the first thing to be dropped. You'd be very surprised if you saw a fish house settlement sheet from a shrimp boat.
  • GermGerm Posts: 1,704 Captain
    he'll be sent a bill but he will never pay
  • AntnyAntny Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Germ wrote: »
    he'll be sent a bill but he will never pay

    But we will.
  • ChubbChubb Posts: 59 Deckhand
    Any guesses on how much removal would cost?
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