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Currituck Adopts Abandoned Vessel Policy

Currituck County now has a legal solution to the problem of abandoned vessels in the county’s navigable waterways, the Outer Banks Voice reported.

Commissioners recently approved an ordinance that allows the county to deal with abandoned watercraft in the same way it handles abandoned or junked vehicles.

The county’s code enforcement department will attempt to track down the owner of a boat that has been abandoned or is a hazard to other vessels and ask the owner to remove it. If the owner doesn’t comply, the county has the right to remove and dispose of the abandoned vessel at the owner’s expense.

Under the ordinance, abandoned vessels are those that have been moored for 30 days or more without the permission of a marina owner, dock owner, slip owner or property owner, county attorney Ike McRee told the board during its July 18 meeting.

The ordinance also covers vessels that are in danger of sinking, have sunk or are a hazard to navigation and an immediate danger to other vessels, McRee added. The new law won’t apply to shipwrecks or cargo that have been underwater for more than 10 years.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.