I flew into the North Eleuthera airport during the month of June during 2017. I then took a water taxi to Harbor Island in the Bahamas where I stayed for five days. One evening when my friends and I were dining not far from the shore, I decided to walk down to the water’s edge to capture some sunset pictures instead of waiting for my conch salad to be served. To my surprise I discovered a water graveyard or sandbar of abandoned boats. When I returned to the restaurant and told my friends what I had found they informed me that getting rid of storm damaged items or boats on the island is costly and difficult. I would soon discover many abandoned boats over the next few days as I explored Harbor Island.
Stranded Boats On Sandbars
I suppose there are many reasons that boats get left to decay in the sun in the Bahamas. I was told that it is a very difficult process to get parts for boats in a timely manner and for a reasonable price. Perhaps some of these boats were sunk during a hurricane and when the tide surge subsided the boats where left abandoned/beached due to damage beyond repair. I’m guessing those vessels that have engines on them probably sank during storm conditions and where not worth trying to retrieve the hulls.
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I also have to wonder if this is some sort of dry docking method that is used on Harbor Island in the Bahamas? I mean some of the boats have covers on them that appear to be stranded on the sandbars. As you can see in the image below of the beached blue boat, the one farthest away has a cover on it. Maybe it’s just an extra low tide and when high tide comes the boats can be used.
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The video below is very informative about the hazards associated with stranded boats that are left to decay on the beaches. As I listened to the narrator, I realized how important it is to try to get the hazardous wastes off of the boats. There are things like plastics, oil and paint cans that must be removed from the stranded boats and disposed of. Many of the larger boats have large engines on them that are filled with oil. There are gas tanks that are still full. Just the fiberglass of the boats is hazardous to the environment because it will last for hundreds of thousands of years.
How Are Beached Boats Removed From Sandbars
I found it interesting how they actually remove boats from sandbars. The process involves cutting up the boats with a chain saw and then attaching large blocks of foam to them so that when the tide does eventually come in the dismantled boats can be removed from the islands.
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