PORT ROYAL, South Carolina (AP)—Only the top of the shrimp boat’s pilothouse was visible from the Port Royal, South Carolina dock where the 60-foot vessel had floated abandoned for months.
The shrimp boat sank Aug. 6, sending fuel into Battery Creek and calling attention to the other rotting, junk-laden and abandoned boats amassed at the town-owned dock.
On a neighboring shrimp boat, grass and vines grew on the deck where a Jet Ski and trailer were stored, and birds bathed in rainwater on the boat’s skiff.
“It’s disgusting and embarrassing,” Town Councilman Jerry Ashmore wrote in an email to council members and town staff, describing contaminated water and decaying, blighted vessels at the dock.
In the wake of the shrimp boat sinking at the publicly operated dock, and the resulting sheen of apparent fuel in Battery Creek, town officials are vowing to clear the area of boats abandoned, behind on rent and in disrepair.
The boat that sank in August, along with another submerged and abandoned vessel will be pulled to the water’s edge, broken into pieces and hauled away in a trash container, Town Manager Van Willis said. Officials will work with a Yemassee contractor to remove the boats as soon as possible, he said.
“If those folks owe us money or they’re not shrimping, they don’t need to be here,” Willis said. “This is supposed to be a working shrimping dock.”