As North Carolinians continue to recover from and assess damage from Hurricane Florence, many individuals are wondering how to deal with their marine vessels.
Partially submerged or sunken vessels create an inconvenience to owners, risk to insurers, may be a hazard to the environment and are a potential hazard to navigation. Owners are responsible for their vessels and should endeavor to remove them safely. Vessel owners remain liable for the wreckage and could be responsible for failing to undertake appropriate actions in the aftermath of the storm.
In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a news release that addresses these issues. The Coast Guard offers guidance to vessel owners on safe removal of damaged vessels with minimum impact to the environment.
At Cranfill, Sumner and Hartzog LLP, we understand the laws applicable to vessel owners and their insurers. If you have questions about vessel removal, please contact our Admiralty and Maritime Law Practice Group.