St. Johns County

Makeshift boat washes up in St. Johns County; how it got there

CRESCENT BEACH, Fla. — A makeshift boat washed ashore on Crescent Beach in St. Johns County off Old A1A, leaving neighbors scratching their heads, wondering how it got there, and who it belonged to.

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St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office told Action News Jax that the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted it in South Florida, where the boat drifted ashore to end up in St. Johns County.

David Micallef, a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard (Sector Jacksonville), said the command center has no information about who may have been onboard or their status. The origin of the vessel is also unknown. Micallef explained that whenever a makeshift vessel like this washes ashore, the Coast Guard treats it like marine debris. He said the Coast Guard has inspected the boat and marked it, and SJSO confirmed that it is scheduled to be destroyed.

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But in the meantime, neighbors were able to get a good look at it, and it stopped a lot of them in their tracks. Skye Taylor was on her daily stroll with her dog when she spotted the stranded vessel.

“The boat looks like it had been in the water for a while,” she pointed out.

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Taylor sails often and noticed distinct features on the boat.

“It looked like they tried to gaffer it with tarp, because you can see the boom on the bottom, the shape of the main sail is a gaff rig sail,” she described.

Taylor said that given her experience out on the water, traveling in a boat like this is extreme.

“I’ve been sailing out to sea but nothing that small,” she emphasized. “That’s scary to be out in the ocean in anything that’s maybe 14 feet long. It was really brave to set out in that little boat.”

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