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Storm debris at Lake Nacimiento poses concerns for boat owners

Posted at 6:46 PM, May 01, 2023

Storm debris in Lake Nacimiento has been a growing concern since the storms earlier this year.

“We have heard, and we have seen the debris fields on the lake and we know that’s going to be a problem for a lot of boaters this year," said Deputy John McKenney with San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department.

Debris like sticks and branches, poses a concern for boat owners.

“Large pieces could be really dangerous in terms of hitting them," said Jet Boat Performance CEO, Tom Manier.

Manier told KSBY he’s already had a couple of boats come in for repair after the boat’s propellers struck debris.

“Debris gets caught in the impeller, throws it. If it won't pass through and out, it will shake violently to the point where they have to shut the boat down or get back to the ramp and put it back on the trailer," explained Manier.

In some boats, it can cause overheating and that cost can be a hefty one for boat owners.

A repair like that can cost from $400 to $1,400.

“If it does further damage, for example, and causes the engine to overheat, then it's a real problem. It could be an engine replacement, which could be $8,000 or $10,000," added Manier.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the situation and has some tips for boat users.

"I would say, first and foremost, as far as debris on the lake keep a proper lookout. Use somebody on the boat looking for large debris fields. Don’t drive your boat as fast as you possibly can, keep it a safe speed and monitor your engine temperature," said McKenney.

According to Mainer, another option is to wait it out until there is less debris afloat.