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New bill could give law enforcement some authority over SC aband - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

New bill could give law enforcement some authority over SC abandoned boat removals

Abandoned boats in the marsh (Source: Live  5) Abandoned boats in the marsh (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

As every storm passes, abandoned boats and vessels become a larger problem along the South Carolina coast. 

The removal responsibility currently falls on the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The agency then prioritizes which ones are removed using a number of factors. The flow chart for removal has a number of steps and involves many departments depending on what kind of issues that are incurred with any given boat. 

A bill introduced by Peter McCoy (R-Charleston) could streamline the process and put more responsibility on law enforcement agencies to remove the boats.

Under the language of the bill, the agency must investigate and make sure the boat is abandoned, then make "reasonable effort" to notify the last known owner. If the owner claims the boat within 45 days, it's no longer considered abandoned. If that length of time reaches 90 days, it can formally be considered abandoned property. 

The bill passed through house committee with a favorable report last Thursday. 

If no action is taken within 30 days of the reported notice of a violation, the sheriff's office would then have the authority to enforce the abandonment. 

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