DPNR Finally Removes Derelict Military Vessel from Cruz Bay Beach


The Department of Planning and Natural Resources removed the final derelict vessel from Cruz Bay beach last week in its effort to clean up the harbor and once again welcome swimmers to the beach.


DPNR began removing illegally moored and derelict vessels from Cruz Bay last June to aid the Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation’s efforts to turn Cruz Bay into a swimming beach, however the old metal boat removed last week could not be taken away at that time, explained DPNR Assistant Director of Enforcement Roberto Tapia.

“It was stuck,” said Tapia. “The backhoe we had there in June was not four wheel drive, so when they started trying to remove it, we were just digging in the sand. It was a very minimum effort last week to push the boat off the beach with four wheel drive machinery.”

Boat Ownership Questioned

The boat was taken across Cruz Bay harbor to the V.I. National Park dock, where it was removed from the water and taken away the next day. Confusion was raised over the boat’s rightful owner.

“Right now it’s unclear as to the rightful ownership, but we are doing our due diligence to find out exactly who owns the vessel,” said DPNR spokesperson Jamal Nielsen. “The boat has been abandoned there for some time now, and we want to make an island that thrives on tourism presentable.”

“The ownership is secondary,” added Tapia. “It’s been abandoned for some time now and we put out notifications it was going to be removed. We spoke to potential owners.”

Tapia did not comment further on the ownership of the vessel which was brought to the island by the late George “Yogi” Tuttle.


St. John Tradewinds News Photos by MaLinda Nelson

DPNR Finally Removes Derelict Military Vessel from Cruz Bay Beach