Who cut six boats from Augusta's public dock?


News12 First at Five/ Thursday, Jan. 1, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Four boats with no one on board could be floating downstream on the Savannah River.

The search is on to round them all up. The Savannah Riverkeeper claims someone cut the boats from the public dock on purpose.

This could mean bad news for more than those who own the boats.

"I came down this morning to check on it and it was gone," Gene Gilbert said.

He said is still concerned about what should be sitting next to a cut piece of rope at the public dock. Gilbert's $10,000 boat is missing.

"Someone had cut it loose. The bail line had been cut with a knife and the loop that goes around the cleft on the dock was still there," Gilbert said.

"There's a total of six boats that were cut loose from a public dock in downtown Augusta. We still can't find four of those boats," said Savannah Riverkeeper Tanya Bonitatibus.

We're told this is where the boats where cut from. since the river is flowing down stream there's no telling where they are now.

"These are all very large boats. They vary in between 30 and 50 feet. They're very heavy and it means that we potentially have this large floating objects going down the river," she said.

Bonitatibus said her office along with Georgia DNR Agents are searching the Savannah River for the four missing boats. Here are pictures of the two that were found which are being towed back to the Marina.

"The dam is what regulates the amount of water that comes to downtown Augusta. We have to be careful. We don't want large structures beating into it," she said.

Basically it means if one of the boats hit one of the bridges or gates, it could possibly cause flooding. The question remains: Who cut the boats?

"It could be kids. It could be someone with other ill intents. I just got my mother out of the hospital. I'm more worried about her right now," said Gilbert.

The River keeper worries his missing boat and the others still out there, could flood us all with problems down the road. Anyone with information about the missing boats are asked to call (706) 826-8991.


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