Makeshift boats discovered along shorelines of St. Johns County beaches

Two dilapidated makeshift boats appear to have made their way ashore Wednesday in the Summer Haven area of St. Johns County. Later in the day, News4JAX learned a third was also spotted along Crescent Beach.

SUMMER HAVEN, Fla. – Two dilapidated makeshift boats appear to have made their way ashore Wednesday in the Summer Haven area of St. Johns County. Later in the day, News4JAX learned a third was also spotted along Crescent Beach.

Photos shared to News4JAX by the St. Johns County government revealed the ramshackle boats in Summer Haven. A News4JAX viewer shared a photo of the boat seen in Crescent Beach.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified and members checked the vessels over to ensure there were no public safety concerns.

The vessels had been removed by Wednesday evening, but questions were swirling among those living in the area about where the boats came from and the fates of anyone who may have been on board.

Photo courtesy of St. Johns County government.
Courtesy: Nancy Johnson
Courtesy: Nancy Johnson

The boats were marked with the letters “USCG OK,” which according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is the tag used by the Coast Guard to mark abandoned vessels.

The images reveal the boats were constructed partially with Styrofoam. While the origin of the boats remains unknown, they appear similar to some small vessels that the Coast Guard has stopping off the Florida coast.

People who live nearby in Crescent Beach said they were immediately curious, including Ron Richards who shared concern.

“You know anything about where the people are? Because did they drown? Or that what happened to them?” he asked.

“I’m just trying to think where would they come from?” Joan Rocek asked of the boats.

Notably, in the state of Florida, there are no vessel salvage rights. So in order to claim an abandoned vessel, it would need to be reported to law enforcement.


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