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Oct. 21, 2019
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Owner of abandoned boat charged

By Pamela A. Keene
 
For a couple of weeks, a 64-foot Bluewater Yacht lay partially sunk in Margaritaville at Lanier Islands’ Sunset Cove. After an investigation by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the owner has been charged with a felony for unlawful dumping of hazardous waste into Lake Lanier. 
 
“As a result of our investigation, owner Sirone Devon Kearney, 20, of Williamson, Georgia, has been charged with unlawful dumping of hazardous waste and with failure to register his vessel,” said Corporal Eddie Tompkins, with the Law Enforcement Division of the Georgia Department of Natural resources who investigated the incident. “The boat started taking on water in Sunset Cove and numerous people on the boat had to be rescued by the DNR and the Hall County Fire Department.”
 
The boat was left partially submerged at Margaritaville at Lanier Island’s Sunset Cove for several weeks. At press time, it was scheduled to be removed by the end of June. “In these cases, it’s the responsibility of the owner to remove the vessel,” Tompkins said. “However, we understand that a private entity may be removing it then following up with the owner for compensation.” 
 
The Lake Lanier Association has been actively working to remove abandoned vessels and derelict docks on Lake Lanier when it is not possible to identify the owner. Because the owner of the boat in Sunset Cove was known, the removal did not fall under the association’s program.
 
The association has been working with the Corps of Engineers, the Georgia DNR, law enforcement and various jurisdictions to research ownership of these abandoned vessels and docks and take them to court.

Posted online 6/28/19
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