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50-foot boat wreck imperils Hawtree Creek

By Alan R. Andrus

I am writing to you on behalf of the Howard Beach Motor Boat Club in Howard Beach and its members as well as the residents of the Howard Beach and Hamilton Beach areas, particularly those adjacent to the Hawtree Creek north of Jamaica Bay.

The reason we are extremely concerned is that a resident of the area, at Bayview Avenue in Howard Beach, has had a very large fixer-upper yacht (over 50 feet) docked behind his house and it sank a week or so ago.

The boat is listing over, and while still lightly tied to the dock, it is slowly rolling over into the middle of the channel at Hawtree Creek, making the whole creek north of his house unnavigable. In addition, we believe there are large quantities of fuels, lubricants, wastes and other toxic materials in the boat, which will severely pollute our area of the creek and feed into other areas of the Hawtree Creek and the Hawtree Basin and into Jamaica Bay.

We have called this critical situation to the attention of the EPA, the Fire and Police Marine Bureaus (whose boats could not navigate past this wreck in an emergency or in the event of a fire), and have brought this matter to the attention of lawmakers Joseph Addabbo, Phil Goldfeder, Gregory Meeks and Eric Ulrich. We have not yet seen steps taken to remove this derelict.

We have heard that the owner is incarcerated, but cannot verify whether this is true, so he may be unable as well as unwilling to fix the problem.

Please take whatever actions you can to assure that this area comes to the attention of the authorities and to the public, so that this hazard can be removed and the impending disaster can be avoided before the situation completely degrades.

As an example of possible impacts of this situation, Sunday we hosted a Relay For Life Children’s Candy Bingo Fund-raiser at our club. This coming Sunday we are having a NYC Fishing Seminar and Flea Market at our club with dozens of people attending from all over the Metropolitan Area and from Long Island, Staten Island and New Jersey. Our club is only about a hundred feet from the site of this wreck, and we are concerned that spills could release noxious or hazardous chemicals and fumes into the immediate area or our public events.

We need support for immediate resolution of this problem!

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Alan R. Andrus

Corresponding Secretary

Howard Beach Motor Boat Club

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