Hurricane Ian: Southwest Florida Facebook group helps find lost boats
Hundreds, if not thousands, of boats have been spotted in unusual places in southwest Florida after historic storm surge from Hurricane Ian swept them away last week.
In the middle of the street, in the parking lot of an apartment complex, and in people’s backyards are some of the sites where these vessels were found.
While some people search for their missing yacht or jet ski, others have random boats sitting on their lawns – a potential hazard if they tip over or leak fuel.
Now a Facebook group created on Thursday is trying to connect owners with their boats.
SW Florida Lost & Found Boats member Karen Hensel Yacovelli said Tuesday afternoon that at least five boats ended up in the backyards located next to the canals in a neighborhood of Cape Coral.
“Many boats all over SW Cape yards along Sands and side streets … from Beach to El Dorado,” she said.
Fellow member Susan Hommes Host said on Monday she is looking for her boat who was left on an elevator behind his house.
“We had just bought it the week before the storm so there was no name on it yet,” she said.
Caryl M Jaques said his boat had disappeared in Cape Coral to find him the next day with its rear on top of a dike and the bow on the water in a nearby channel. Kelly Roberts-Hinds said she also found her boat in a garden right next to a canal.
“We located our boat for better or for worse…” she said.
According to other members of the group, boats also ran aground on Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs and Marco Island.
Here’s what to do if you find a boat
If you spot a ship in the middle of the street or in your yard, contact your local police department by calling their non-emergency line, Marco Island Police Captain Richard Stoltenborg told the Miami Herald. If it is an emergency, dial 911.
Here are some of the non-emergency police phone numbers you may need:
- Cape Coral PD: (239) 574-3223
Fort Myers PO: (239) 321-7700
Lee County Sheriff’s Office: (239) 477-1000
Naples PD: 239-213-4844
Marco Island PD: (239) 389-5050
Collier County Sheriff’s Office: 239-252-9300
Sarasota PD: (941) 263-6773
Punta Gorda PO: (941) 639-4111
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office: (941) 639-2101