Treasure Coast marine industry cleaning up after Frances

VERO BEACH, Fla. – The marine industry along Florida’s Treasure Coast was “devastated” when Hurricane Frances hit the state last week, and cleanup efforts are underway at many marinas that sustained considerable damage from the storm, according to one published report today

The Vero Beach Press Journal reported in a story this morning that the Fort Pierce City Marina, one of the largest facilities in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties, lost more than 65 percent of its 240 floating and fixed dock spaces during the storm

“Not only that, but we had 72 boats moored to the floating docks that were affected, either heavily damaged and total losses or sunk, and 16 of those are still missing, and we’re not sure where they are,” marina manager Dean Kubitschek told the newspaper.

“All I can tell you right now is the industry was pretty well devastated,” said Vera Locke, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast. “By the time we do figure out the losses, not only to the docks but to the boat owners – well, it just boggles the mind.”

Frank Herhold of the Fort Lauderdale-based Marine Industries Association of South Florida told the newspaper that most of the boats and docks were spared in South Florida, “but from Palm Beach on up through Sebastian, most of the docks along the Intracoastal were pretty much destroyed [or] are very heavily damaged and many are unusable.”

Two of those included the Sebastian River Marina & Boatyard in Micco and Capt. Hiram’s in Sebastian, which had docking facilities for 60 slips, all of which were lost, according to co-owner Martin Carter.

Carter told the newspaper that Capt. Hiram’s would rebuild the marina at a cost he estimated “between $600,000 and $700,000 and it could take us up to a year.”

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