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Shrimping boats damaged in Hurricane Matthew

Fernandina Harbor Marina closed by hurricane damage

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Hurricane Matthew left a wake of damage throughout Nassau County. In Fernandina Beach and Yulee, boats were sunk and docks were swept right off their foundation.

The Fernandina Harbor Marina is expected to be closed until April after the storm tore up the floating docks and walkways. 

A local shrimper Mike Adams said his son's 28-foot shrimping boat was submerged in the Belle River, an inlet of the St. Marys River, after a large cedar tree floated on top of it during the hurricane.

"Well if the tree hadn't hit the boat, it would have never sunk," Adams said.

Adams told News4Jax Monday that he road out the Category 3 storm in his boat, which also suffered storm damage.

"I rode this boat from 1:30 in the afternoon until 3 o'clock in the morning. When I walked out at 1:30 in the afternoon, the water was right below my knees when I crawled onto the boat," Adams said. "I lost my air conditioner, water got over it and destroyed it. And like I said, I lost my walk-in cooler." 

If he had left his boat anchored, Adams said, the dock and boat would have seen worse damage.

"I've been called anything between Forrest Gump to crazy," Adams said. 

Adams said they were able to haul out his son's boat, change the oil and get it running again. But he said many of the nearby docks were "completely washed away."

Though Matthew was the worst storm that he's seen in a long time, Adams said, the community is strong, with helping hands to help rebuild. 

"It's part of where I chose to live," Adams said. 

Adams hopes he will be able to start up his business again by the end of the week.