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Boat owner faces deadline to remove fishing vessel from Port San Luis beach

Posted at 6:12 PM, Feb 11, 2019

A large fishing boat washed ashore in Port San Luis during a storm earlier this month. Now the boat’s owner, Steven Snyder, is tasked with removing it.

Snyder has owned the Saturnia for 25 years. When stormy waters hit Port San Luis, he says he asked Harbor Patrol to take him out to his boat.

“I went over and said, ‘hey guys, you need to take me over to my boat, the boat is a monster, it could do damage in the harbor, you need to take me to that boat now,'” Snyder said.

Authorities with the Port San Luis Harbor District declined an on-camera interview Monday but said ocean conditions were deemed too dangerous.

“It was a good working boat until the mooring failed, and I have no control of the mooring whatsoever,” Snyder added.

Now, red tape and warnings surround Snyder’s boat on the Port San Luis beach. Snyder says he’s at risk of losing his livelihood.

“Hope it’s not much of an eyesore, but all I had was a fishing boat,” Snyder said.

The Saturnia was washed up on a Port San Luis beach during a heavy storm. (KSBY photo)


On February 8, the Port San Luis Harbor District gave Snyder ten days to get his boat off the beach. District ordinance says Snyder is responsible for the cost.

“Whoever has to get it moved has a serious project on their hands,” said Alex, who repairs boats for a living at SLO Performance Marine. He says it’ll be tough to come by equipment that’s capable of moving a vessel so large.

Alex estimates bringing the boat back to life would cost upwards of $50,000.

“A boat like that weighs at least 50,000 pounds, maybe even more. If water has gotten into the fish hold and brought sand with it, you could be looking at doubling that weight,” Alex said.

If Snyder doesn’t find a solution by February 18, the Harbor District will remove and demolish it. The Harbor District Manager confirmed on Monday that it’s unclear how that service will be paid for at this point. If grant money doesn’t cover the cost, it may come from tax dollars.

Snyder says he removed all of his belongings and any fuel inside the boat that could create an environmental hazard. He says the boat is uninsured.

The Port San Luis Harbor District says Synder’s mooring, which keeps his boat anchored, was inspected earlier this year. Some pieces of the mooring were reportedly replaced.