Rescuing sunken boats from Davy Jones’ Locker in Cape Fear waterways


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you’ve driven on Highway 17 in the past few months, you may have noticed a sinking abandoned sailboat in the Brunswick River.  It is now gone, after the owner of that boat was fined by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

Back in 2017, Brunswick County Commissioners passed an ordinance regulating how the Sheriff’s Office can force the removal of abandoned boats.

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One sailboat has been in the Brunswick River since February, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Emily Flax. On June 2, the owner of that boat was given a court order to remove it by August.

The owner hired Chris Salvagio to remove it. Salvagio says leaving abandoned boats in the water can be hazardous.

“People can run into them at night, navigation problems, the oils and the gas, stuff like that,” Salvagio said. “It’s a process, you got to get down in the water, you got to wait for the tides, you got to have pumps and flotation devices, and tow the boats and get them out of the water. Obviously you see, it’s a job.”

Salvagio says this is the fifth boat he and his brother have removed since Hurricane Florence hit back in September.