Boats litter Coronado Navy base after blustery storm

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SAN DIEGO — Several more boats litter the shore at Naval Base Coronado after this week’s powerful storm, making it more than a dozen wrecked vessels that are going unclaimed on the federal property.

SkyFOX flew above San Diego Bay to reveal 13 boats dotting the base’s beach in various states of disrepair.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed to FOX 5 that several of the vessels were new wrecks from Tuesday’s blustery weather system. USCG had at least one report of a boater who got into trouble on the water off San Diego during the storm, but said they were able to make it to safety and get medical attention.

Navy spokesperson Kevin Dixon told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the wrecked boats on base had likely anchored at sea at the Zuniga Jetty Shoal, a shallow spot nearby that’s often used by people who live on their vessels. When boats are left there unoccupied during winter storms, they can wreck on base, Dixon explained.

He estimated half-a-dozen of the boats had come ashore during the most recent storm. Others had been there longer, including one that could be seen buried in sand.

One of more than a dozen wrecked boats on shore at Naval Base Coronado on Dec. 15, 2021. Some, like this one buried in sand, have been there for weeks or months. (Photo: Malik Earnest/SkyFOX)

The Navy’s legal department has 45 days to try to find the owners of the boats and determine next steps, the U-T reports. If an owner can’t be found, then the military will have to dismantle and remove the boats at a cost of roughly $20,000 a piece, Dixon said.

The Coast Guard spokesperson told FOX 5 they did not believe there was a significant source of pollution — like leaking fuel or other hazards — coming from the boats as of Wednesday.

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