Abandoned boats as economic indicator

CHARLESTON, S.C. – It’s an unofficial measurement, but some waterfront communities are measuring their economic status by abandoned boats.

“Certainly the economic downturn did seem to increase the number of boats that were being reported as derelict,” said Dan Burger, director of communication for the Ocean and Coastal Resource Management division of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), told Fox News.

Reasons for abandoning boats include inability to pay the loans, maintenance or fuel. Both commercial and recreational vessels are being abandoned.

South Carolina officials are working to remove abandoned vessels from the water, not just for aesthetics, but for environmental reasons. Removal fees are range between $3,000 and $20,000.

According to the report, South Carolina and other states have recently increased penalties against owners of abandoned vessels — providing the owner can be traced.

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