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WallaWallaPGH t1_jdvdy4t wrote

Good call on the archive link, interesting article:

tl;dr: “The owner is not cooperating”

> Mike Parker, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, said that soon after hearing the initial complaints, the agency agreed to deal with the unattended craft whether it bore legal responsibility or not. In fact, in most cases the Pennsylvania Code places the burden of salvaging abandoned boats on Fish and Boat.

>”The difficulty is the law is set up to protect boat owners from having their boats stolen,” said Mr. Parker. “You can’t just claim one if you find it. There’s a process for changing ownership without the owner’s participation and it takes a while.”

>Fish and Boat has been wrangling with the process for months. The relevant law goes something like this:

>A person who wants an apparently abandoned boat has to send the agency a downloadable document including registration number, hull ID, temporary decal number, model and year, swearing under penalty of law that the information is accurate. Upon request for a title change, the commission sends a certified letter to the last known owner. If ownership is not claimed and the boat is not moved within 30 days, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat has 45 days to legally take possession, dispose of the boat or sell it at auction, or authorize a salvor to get rid of it. PFBC and the salvage company are reimbursed for costs incurred including removal, towing and storage. If the remaining proceeds on the sale are not claimed within 60 days, Fish and Boat keeps the cash. If the craft is determined to be valueless, the salvor may apply for ownership. When the title arrives, the boat can be stripped and sold for parts.

> Before it can be moved, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to confirm there is no boat fuel, oil or other possible pollutants aboard or leaking from the listing vessel. If chemical products are found, Mr. Parker said another legal process outlines its safe removal.


switman t1_jdvz62a wrote

>If the remaining proceeds on the sale are not claimed within 60 days, Fish and Boat keeps the cash.

Does this mean that someone can just abandon a boat, have the state tow and auction it, and then just show up and claim the proceeds? I realize in this case there probably wouldn't be any proceeds, but that's still a hilarious concept


chiphook57 t1_jdwa4cn wrote

That boat did indeed have fuel and lubricating oil aboard. Once the dep wraps up their paperwork, I don't think anyone is going to want near that craft. Wait until you see the salvage/tow invoice...


Aggravating_Foot_528 OP t1_jdwbc19 wrote

You mean skeeter can't bring his flatbed tow truck up to the shore and just haul it out?


Aggravating_Foot_528 OP t1_jdvzqgr wrote

Sounds like it. I think it has to do with rules about the state not being able to take abandonded property unless it's truly abandoned. I think the state has to give the benefit of the doubt that the property is truly abandoned before profiting off of it. Even if the person has told the state repeatedly that they don't want the boat anymore. But that is just my guess