Abandoned house boat still floating free near Lady's Island

An abandoned house boat on Factory Creek is still bouncing around the Beaufort County boat landing on Lady’s Island. It's hard to pinpoint when the boat first appeared drifting but has been for at least a month.

Thousands of such abandoned craft do the South Carolina coast as owners tire of their aging vessels or seek to reclaim lost money through insurance fraud — and recovering the craft and punishing those who abandon them has proved hard as identifying marks are often removed leaving local governments with the legal burden and cost to dispose of them.

The Beaufort Tribune has a photo of the house boat here.

The abandoned ships can not only damage marsh but become navigational hazards and they sink, decay and slip below the water line. They also damage the environment as they leak chemicals into the water.

A state law passed in 2009 punishes those that abandon boats with fines of up to $5,000 and 30 days.

A citizen-powered Google Map exists to track abandoned craft, if you know of any others in the area we encourage you to add them here.

Filed in