Boats, Floats, and Trash!
By Jerry Cegelske
June 09, 2005
About a month ago I received a telephone call from a woman asking
if there was anything that could be done about the boats on the
Gravina shoreline. I also noticed in one of his cartoons
announcing spring cleanup starting April 16th, Roger Maynard
has two fish in the lower right corner with one saying to the
other "Someone should clean up all the derelict boats that
we see over on Gravina Island!"
An iron hulk on the
Since I am "someone", I took a ferry ride over to the
airport where Officer Franco D'Angelo met me. After a short
ride we ended up walking the beach to where the majority of junked
boats are currently resting. My intent was to do a survey
of the boats to see what is there and what can be done to
remove them from the area. What was interesting is that
there is a number of old floats, less visible than the boats that
have also been deposited on the beach. After they provided
service for their lifetimes, they were towed there and deposited
(we don't just set them adrift to be a navigation hazard as we
are responsible people- we just dump them on someone else's property
for them to take care of!).
These boats were floating when they were placed on the island
but now they have broken up and present a real challenge to get
cleaned up. It would have been much easier for the owners
to have taken them to a beach area or boat ramp where they could
have been taken apart and transported to the landfill.
But since they are to cheap and lazy to do that, someone else
has to do their dirty work for them. Until that day, we
get to look at their handiwork!
One large boat was taken there and then set on fire. It
burned to the waterline leaving a skeleton and the remains of
the large old engine.
Remains of a boat
When the boats are towed and deposited on the beach, are the
fuel tanks emptied and cleaned so they don't pollute the water
or beach? Is the oil drained from the engines? Are
the batteries removed so the acid doesn't leach into the water
affecting the Narrows? What about asbestos exhaust pipe
We will be working on this project for the next several months
to see what can be done. I say "WE" as I can't
do it alone. I need your help and ideas in order to
get it cleaned up. Several people have volunteered ideas
and suggestions. Since it is summer, there should be some
bored school kids that need to be occupied with some projects.
Besides, there are some nice things on the beach to be collected
by the beachcombers. There are many large (10" spikes)
around the burned out boat and other interesting artifacts to
"WE" can do it because "WE" want it done!
For a cleaner Gravina Shoreline,
Ketchikan Gateway Borough
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Ketchikan, AK - USA
Officer Franco D'Angelo
with the remains of a ferro-cement sailboat
An old boat and a float
A float deposited by someone to lazy to take proper care of it!
Another wooden boat
left high and dry.
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