(Un)sunken boat washing ashore along Lake Ontario shoreline in Greece

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GREECE, N.Y. — It looks like someone was unsuccessful in their attempt to sink a boat on Lake Ontario because pieces of it are washing ashore and people who live along the shoreline are worried about safety. 

About two weeks ago, folks along Edgemere Drive in Greece spotted something in the water. 

“This 27-foot power boat was sticking up out of the water, the bow was,” explains Ed Riley, who lives along Edgemere Drive. “Obviously my neighbor did the right thing by calling 911 because at that point they didn’t know what was going to happen as far as how to determine whether there was anybody on it.”

The US Coast Guard, Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and several other agencies responded.

“They did a search for hours looking for any sign of someone in a life jacket,” Riley recalls. 

When they didn’t find anyone, they put a buoy near it and left, perhaps assuming it would eventually sink but it didn’t. 

Making matters worse, a storm came through recently.

“The waves were 5-6 feet so the boat broke loose,” Riley explains. 

It now sits even closer to shore. Well, some of it does. Many big parts of the boat are now washing ashore including the steering compartment, the fuel tank and big pieces of fiberglass. 

The Coast Guard has told neighbors there is video surveillance

“Somebody towing this boat out and then coming back without it,” Riley explains.

But so far, no one has been ticketed or charged for trying to illegally sink it. 

News10NBC reached out to many of the local agencies that initially responded and they all said the investigation is being handled by the U.S. Coast Guard. 

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer John Masson tells News10NBC that investigators have been out to the scene and do not believe the boat currently poses a significant pollution threat and in its current location is not considered a navigational threat either. Investigators, he says, are still trying to determine ownership and once they do, it’ll be the owner’s responsibility to salvage the boat. 

Neighbors say there’s no telling when or if that will ever happen. 

“Government does get in those positions a lot where they can’t actually determine who is going to pay for it but there’s a public safety piece that comes with that, that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do so to speak,” Riley says.

News10NBC asked Chief Petty Officer Masson whether the Coast Guard could pull it out themselves and then bill the owner for salvage when they’re able to identify and find him or her. Masson said they’d have to refer it to the Army Corps of Engineers and that’s something they really only do in cases of an emergency. 

Masson said the investigation is ongoing.