sinking boat in malletts bay

The Colchester Police Department said the owner of this partially sunken vessel is not breaking any laws. PHOTO: Ben Chiapinelli

Last week, the Colchester Sun confirmed reports of a half-sunk boat bobbing in Malletts Bay about 60 feet from the beach off East Lakeshore Drive.

After inquiring with the town of Colchester about the troubled vessel, town manager Dawn Francis replied in an email.

“We are working with the [Colchester Police Department] and our harbormaster to determine our options,” she wrote.

CPD Lt. Doug Allen later addressed the issue over the phone, calling the boat an “eyesore” and a “hazard.”

“The owner is aware of it … we know he is aware of it,” he said.

The owner isn’t required to take any action, Allen said, adding Vermont State Police have also received calls about the boat.

“They’ve talked to [the Vt. Agency of] Natural Resources, and natural resources said it’s not big enough to be declared a spill,” he said.

Allen later said the boat was too cost prohibitive for the town to remove, and there was little value to the wreckage. He said they are currently in touch with the U.S. Coast Guard to determine if the town is required to move it.

James Ehlers, executive director of pollution watchdog group Lake Champlain International said while a sinking boat is never good, its environmental impact is most likely slim.

Ehlers said people should be more concerned with the thousands of gallons of stormwater carrying toxins into the lake.

“Just looks like a [bad] day for a boat owner,” he said.