Horry County's sunken ships to rise again

The "Double D" is a wrecked boat that remains rested on the shore of the Intracoastal Waterway in Little River.

The "Double D" will rise again, but soon be destroyed.

The sunken boat is sort of a landmark in the Intracoastal Waterway of Little River, causing boaters and anyone who travels the waters to navigate around it.

"The real issue is that it's a navigational hazard," says SC Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Curtis Joyner.

"It can also really endanger the wildlife."

The county is also worried about the potential hazards abandoned watercrafts put into the water. Joyner says, "It's not just oil and gas. It's hydraulic fuel as well."

Horry County Council passed an ordinance in October 2010 that gives them the authority to remove abandoned watercraft like the "Double D" and then destroy them.

"It could easily come loose and become a navigational hazard," says Horry County Property Manager Jim Papadea. "So this is a good thing happening."

The boat is the first to be removed under the ordinance. County officials expect the process will take about three hours to complete.

Council ordinance 68-10 states the county is pursuing these abandoned boats "for the promotion of the public health, safety, and welfare and general convenience as granted by State Legislation."

The county defined abandoned watercraft as those which are left anchored, moored, stranded, wrecked or sunk unattended for more than 45 days. Also, if it has become a nuisance or danger to the public, it can be removed.

The ordinance states the owner must make a "bona fide attempt to recover the watercraft." Anyone who violates the ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and fined no less than $1,000 and no more than $5,000.

Do you feel sunken boats have become a nuisance on South Carolina waterways? Leave a comment.