TRENTON, New Jersey (LOG News Service) — Are you wealthy enough to own a mega-yacht but too cheap to pay for parking? Just drop anchor next to the Statue of Liberty and soak up the million-dollar views for free.
That was the tact of Russian-American oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, who reportedly anchored his 370-foot vessel, Le Grand Bleu, next to Lady Liberty for weeks at a time between April and June.
No sooner did he leave Liberty Bay then Swiss-Italian scion Ernesto Bertarelli parked his 318-foot Vava II in the same waters, followed by German billionaire Reinhold Würth in his relatively modest, 280-foot Vibrant Curiosity earlier in August, according to reports.
But The Record reported the rich-guy antics have obstructed views of the iconic monument and left tourists fuming. Now, a New Jersey state senator wants to clear the bay of parked mega-yachts for good.
“When Emma Lazarus wrote about America welcoming ‘your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ it was not an invitation to billionaire oil tycoons to use the waters surrounding the Statue of Liberty as a parking lot for their yachts,” New Jersey Sen. Richard Codey, D-Essex, said in a statement on August 25. “It is unsafe for navigation, unfair to others and completely antithetical to the spirit of one of the world’s most compelling symbols of freedom and equal opportunity.”
Codey said he would introduce a resolution at the next Senate session, likely this fall, calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to ban the long-term anchorage of boats near Liberty Island.
The purpose, according to a draft of the resolution, is to “maintain the public’s ability to enjoy views of the monument and park and to protect against security risks.”