Digging Deeper: More sunken boats turn up in Kinchafoonee - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: More sunken boats turn up in Kinchafoonee

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More dangerous, sunken debris will be pulled from the Kinchafoonee Creek after concerned citizens called Lee County Code Enforcement.  Code Enforcement have found two more sunken boats in the Kinchafoonee Creek.

One may have destroyed the motor of another boat this weekend.

That's after two boats and a truck cap were already pulled from the creek over the last two weeks thanks to low water levels.

Code enforcement now believes all of these boat may have been purposely dumped in the creek. They say they pose a hazard to anyone using the creek. Getting the most two recently found boats out of the creek however may pose a challenge.

It is the Kinchafoonee Creek not the Bermuda Triangle, although with two more sunken boats discovered in the creek it's beginning to feel more like the latter. Community awareness sparked the calls.

"Others are coming in from divers and snorkelers who've found items in the past and saw your coverage and decided to report what they knew," said Jim Wright, Lee County Code Enforcement Director.

Members of the Community Emergency Response Team were again in the Kinchafoonee Creek today, Bobby Spencer stood on the side of one. He knows these two boats will be more difficult to reach than the first two.

"They were in a foot and a half of water. What we're experiencing here is five to seven foot of water and we're actually going to have to go down and do an assessment of the hull of the boat," said Bobby Spencer, CERT Coordinator.

CERT volunteers say one of the boats behind a home on Creekside Place may already have put others on the water in danger.

"Over the weekend there'd been a family come up on a pontoon boat and they struck something in the creek in front of their house and tore the prop off their boat," said Spencer.

Code enforcement is disheartened at the discoveries within a thousand feet of each other, but encourage those who may know of other large items in the creek to report them.

"It's very disappointing when you can take it to the landfill and for three cents a pound you can properly dispose of it," said Wright.

Just look at some of the items they've pulled out over the last several years, a Dr. Pepper Machine, an engine block, a trailer full of wheels and other parts, even the kitchen sink. CERT officials say it all comes down to safety.

"I would rather spend the day here to recover the hull of a boat, then to come out here after someone struck the hull of the boat depending on the creek level and make a determination as to if somebody hits it are we going to have to make an effective rescue or recovery," said Spencer.

That's why those who report the debris won't face charges or fines.

The group hopes to be able to remove the boats before the Fourth of July weekend, but because they'll need to close down a portion of the creek to remove these vessels say they may have to wait. With lower than normal water levels they caution everyone to be careful if they're boating this Fourth of July Holiday.

CERT volunteers say the last two boats fell apart once they were on dry land.  They know these boats have been submerged for years and worry they could break apart while they're being removed.