After several years of bureaucratic wrangling, an abandoned sailboat that sat partially submerged in the waters of Cuesta Inlet in Los Osos took its last sail Wednesday morning.
Members of Celebrate Los Osos have been clearing out derelict boats from the inlet for the past year. According to Pandora Nash Karner, member of Celebrate Los Osos, the boat — weighing about 5,000 pounds and with more than 1,000 pounds of silt inside — was raised under the direction of Chuck Rawlinson, owner of Depth Perceptions in San Luis Obispo, and a group of local divers.
Floating the boat required six 2,000-pound salvage pillow bags with a lifting power of six tons to break the derelict out of the mud. Once afloat, the boat only required 1,000-pound pillows to float it to shore.
The boat will be sawed into pieces and placed in a rolloff container this Saturday as part of the statewide Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday.
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Numerous attempts by the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Motor Vehicles failed to locate the owner, leading to it being deemed legally abandoned.
“It was a sad last voyage for what was once a cute little sailboat that had become an eyesore,” said Nash Karner.
In addition to Celebrate Los Osos, the ongoing effort to find owners of abandoned boats — or destroy those derelict boats whose owners can’t be found — has been undertaken by the Baywood Navy. Their motto: “We never sail in water deeper than we can stand in.”
Celebrate Los Osos also worked with the inlet’s property owners, county Code Enforcement, the Sheriff’s Department, California Fish and Game, the Morro Bay Estuary Program, Los Osos Community Services District, Grizzly Youth Academy, Outside Now — a private school in San Luis Obispo — and Arroyo Grande High School students.